It was a double celebration for mental health nurse, Lucia Scull, who not only graduated this week but also won a top award.
Lucia won the student prize for exemplary qualities in the caring profession, which she was awarded at her graduation ceremony at Carlisle Cathedral this week.
However, this is not the first time that Lucia has been up for a prestigious award.
The 27-year-old was shortlisted for the Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health category earlier this year, for work she did with the charity, Mind – creating a social group for those suffering with mental health difficulties.
The group was truly transformative for some members, with one member progressing from being withdrawn and non-verbal to leading and facilitating groups and another no longer self-harmed after joining the group.
It was for this initiative and for achieving high marks throughout her course that Lucia was nominated and won the award at graduation.
“It’s been a whirlwind.
I got married in the summer, so planning a wedding and doing a degree was really testing at times, but I did it and it was fun and I met lots of lovely people along the way,”
Originally from Essex, Lucia now lives and works in Penrith with her husband.
Prior to nursing, Lucia flitted between courses, including performing arts and beauty therapy, as well as travelling and working in retail.
It was only after returning from a trip to New Zealand that she discovered her mum had been hospitalised with depression. This became the catalyst that motivated her to move into mental health nursing.
Thankfully her mum made a full recovery, which meant that Lucia could move to Cumbria to study and be nearer to her now husband.
Lucia supplemented her demanding course with work experience in the community, initially volunteering at her local Mind charity shop, and later becoming a media volunteer promoting the charity and raising money at events.