Hello Wembley!

Posted by: NHS Horizons - Posted on:

Originally published by Bev Matthews – 24th July 2019

A rock concert at Wembley Arena with Professor Green and Razorlight as just two of the headline acts is definitely worth a closer look… 

And recently the Horizons team were excited to be joining them at Wembley Arena for an addition inspiring reason… 

Selina Bhambra, Zarah Mowhabuth and I had an amazing opportunity to work with underprivileged young adults as part of the #teamCNO activities at the Transformation Trust‘s annual Rock Assembly.  

We supported the event by:  

  • Co-designing, with Ambassadors, an interactive approach to promote nursing and midwifery  
  • Facilitating 2 x 45 minute workshops with 14-16 year olds and 1 x workshop with 16-18 year olds 
  • Contributing to the social media presence by amplifying the activity driven by @teamCNO and the Ambassadors 

Working with young people in schools is a key part of the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s #teamCNO strategy for restoring pride in the professions. Nurses and midwives across England are being encouraged to go into their local schools and their children’s’ schools to talk with young people and their influencers (teachers, careers advisers and parents) about the diversity of roles and the changing face of the professions.  

As well as going into schools, key events and activities are being identified to meet young adults at opportunities where they are exploring and considering their future and career options. The Rock Assembly held on Thursday 11th July 2019, is one such opportunity. This annual Futures Fair and pop concert, now in its ninth year, attracts 10,000 underprivileged school students from across the country and is an integral part of the Transformation Trust’s mission. This was however their first year of hosting workshops alongside the Futures Fair and concert so we wanted to help them ensure it was a success too. 

Filling the room 

The workshops were designed to give underprivileged young people in depth access to experts and professionals in careers that they may have thought were beyond their reach. Within days of the following advert going out to schools attending the Rock Assembly, all 3 #teamCNO workshops were full with growing waiting lists: 

Do you like working with people? Would you like to make a positive contribution  to people’s health and transform lives?  

Do you enjoy finding solutions in either creative or scientific ways, working on your own or with others? 

Come and learn about your potential to shape your future 

The words “nursing” and “midwifery” were deliberately excluded so to encourage those attending to be inspired by the roles rather than put off by their perceptions of the professions. 

Welcome to the #teamCNO workshops 

The workshops were set up as a Musical Chairs Skills Carousel and were introduced by our senior nursing and midwifery leads who shared their individual routes to their current roles. Watch our Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May, Deputy Chief Midwifery Officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, and Deputy Chief Nurse Mark Radford in action. 

Learning direction was given to the young adults by a skilled youth compere Sam Draper

Sam encouraged the students to ask questions, get involved and visit the stations (see below) that interested them most rather than just going with the flow of their peers. 

The Stations 

Every workshop gave students the opportunity to spend three rounds of 7 minutes at a station learning about the resources, testing them, and hearing about how the Ambassador uses them in their day to day work. This video by Selina gives you an insight into the stations:  

Learning Disability Nursing: Communication: Resources cards and images to simulate real life experiences 

Acute Care: Sepsis and Resuscitation: Resources Adult resus mannequin/Stethoscopes/blood bottles/blood forms 

Midwifery: pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period Resources fruit gestation game to compare size of the unborn to common pieces of fruit

Community: Wound Care Resources: Bandages/wound dressings/Pressure Ulcer model  

Mental Health: Conversations: Resources Illustrations of different mental health conditions and names for mapping activity 

Childrens Nursing: Neonatal Care Resources Baby resus doll/bag valve mask/ET Tubes/Simulation leg with aspiration needle 

The Ambassadors: 

The ambassadors were representative of the diversity of career opportunities in nursing and midwifery: 

  • Amelia Ticklell,15 year old school student at WIndsor Girls 
  • Eleanor Elmes,15 year old school student at WIndsor Girls 
  • Natalie Read, Neonatal Nurse, Birmingham Childrens Hospital 
  • James Landi, Registered Nursing Associate, Whittington Health 
  • Carley Kane, Trainee Nursing Associate, County Durham and Darlington NHS FT 
  • Dean Gimblett, Mental Health Nurse, Capital Nurse Team 
  • Karen Evans, Learning Disability Nurse, Capital Nurse Team 
  • Stacey Spencer,Health Advisor, North East Ambulance Service 
  • Ayelet Besso-Cowan, Student Childrens Nurse, City of London University 
  • Zoe Carciente 2nd year Student Nurse, Middlesex University 

When the music started students moved to another station, encouraged to explore and choose stations that interest them. Each student met with at least 3 different Ambassadors, experiencing 3 different clinical roles by the end of their 45 minute session.  

Learning from the workshops 

119 students (82 aged 14-16 and 37 aged 16-18) and 21 teachers attended in total. Students were asked before and afterwards about whether they had thought about being a nurse or a midwife and whether they enjoyed their session: 

Of the 100 forms distributed 82 students completed them giving an 82% response rate which provides a good representation of the views of those attending.  

Using a mixture of tick boxes and smiley faces we found that before the workshops 54% had never thought about being a nurse and 56%had never thought about being a midwife 

After the workshops 66% are giving more thought to becoming a nurse and 46%will give more thought to becoming a midwife 

Everyone enjoyed the workshops with 43% saying that “it was great” and 21% saying that they “loved it”.  

Here are some of the comments that they left: 

Social Media 

Using Symplur for data analysis we know that during the Rock Assembly and immediately afterwards, with little other #teamCNO going on, 364 people engaged, posting 981 tweets with 4.7 million impressions. Read more about improving your own Return on Influence in my colleague Leigh Kendall‘s blog. 

Thank you! 

Thank you to all of the students, teachers, volunteers, Ambassadors and Capital Nurse who helped shape and deliver the #teamCNO workshops at the Rock Assembly 2019 

For more information about a career in nursing or midwifery please visit Health Careers 

The Transformation Trust 

The Transformation Trust is an education charity dedicated to opening the doors of opportunity to young people across the country. 

They do this by working with some of the most challenged schools in the country, offering their pupils opportunities and experiences that help them to develop employability skills and build their confidence.  


To ensure that enriching activities, which many children are fortunate enough to enjoy thanks to their background and the schools they attend, are within the reach of all young people in the UK 

Aim to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds develop new skills, grow in confidence, learn to work as a team, and discover hidden talents and interests. 

Programmes help equip them with core employability skills, such teamwork, problem solving and resilience, which are valued in the workplace and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. 

The Transformation Trust is funded almost entirely through the support of the private sector.  

“The workshops were clearly a HUGE hit! Students and teachers coming out of the sessions were absolutely buzzing and very excitedly telling their friends about it. You clearly hit the mark with them – perfectly pitched!” Amy Leonard Chief Executive, Transformation Trust