NEWLY-qualified nurses and midwives who carried out their training at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust celebrated their achievements at a special ceremony.

Twenty-eight nurses and midwives marked their graduation from students to qualified staff at the Trust’s annual badge ceremony, which was held at The Ark, Basingstoke.

Every year, Hampshire Hospitals presents graduates with a Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust badge that they will wear on their uniform for the rest of their career to show where they trained.

Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, hosted the event.

She said: “I’m a very proud chief nurse. We did not want to miss this moment, as your training hospital, to congratulate you on your achievement of becoming registered nurses and midwives. Well done.”

A number of special awards were announced on the night, with The Taverner Award for the exceptional student nurse of the year going to Paul Bradley, who is showing that it’s never too late to follow your nursing dreams.

Paul, who is 51, has worked as a hairdresser and also ran his own business in the United States before realising that nursing was his true calling.

“Life’s too short not to fulfil your passion for what you want to do,” he said. “I always wanted to do something to make a difference and I really wanted to work with people.

“I really enjoy interacting with the patients. That’s what made me want to be a nurse in the first place. It’s great to be able to make them smile and feel good.”

Paul, who carried out all of his placements within Hampshire Hospitals, has already secured a job at the Trust.

Other award winners were Charissa Batty, who claimed the Student Midwife of the Year award, Mary Grace Liaz, who was named Nurse Mentor of the Year, and Nicola Howell, who won the Midwife Mentor of the Year prize.