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St Helens nurse scoops annual memorial award

22 December 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

A St Helen’s nurse has been awarded an annual memorial prize from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

Dad of two John Marsden was handed the Roy Butterworth Award for excelling on UCLan’s BSc (Hons) Psychosocial Mental Health Care course. The award is presented each year to a post-qualified student who has shown to have a unique insight into mental health practice in remembrance of the late Roy Butterworth who spent nearly 40 years working in mental health nursing.

"It’s a lovely feeling. It’s recognition and validation that the work I am doing is making a positive difference to the lives of my patients. I worked full-time during the course so I have my tutors and my partner Aimee to thank for being so supportive."

John, a 45-year-old staff nurse who works at Bolton’s Oak Lodge Independent Hospital catering for mental health patients, commented: “It’s a lovely feeling. It’s recognition and validation that the work I am doing is making a positive difference to the lives of my patients. I worked full-time during the course so I have my tutors and my partner Aimee to thank for being so supportive. I also had excellent support from the management and team of staff and service users at Oak Lodge without whom the project would not have been as successful.”

John previously completed a Diploma in Mental Health Nursing at UCLan in 2010 before taking on this specialist course. It was Roy’s wife, Karen, who suggested a prize be offered to mental health practitioners in remembrance of him because he was so inspirational and wanted to bring out the best in others who strived to improve the lives of people with mental health problems.

John was presented with his prize by the Head of the School of Nursing, Dr Karen Wright, on behalf of Karen Butterworth.

"John was chosen as the recipient of this very special award because of his ability to bridge the theory to practice gap. Roy was an excellent, informed and compassionate nurse."

Dr Wright said: “John was chosen as the recipient of this very special award because of his ability to bridge the theory to practice gap. Roy was an excellent, informed and compassionate nurse and that’s why it’s so important that the person receiving this award echoes this sentiment, which John certainly does. I want to offer my warmest congratulations to a very worthy winner.”

Group Photo

Roy began his nursing career as a cadet nurse at Whittingham Hospital in 1974, aged 16. In 1976, he became a student nurse at Lancaster Moor Hospital and qualified as a registered mental health nurse in 1979. He stayed at Lancaster Moor for 23 years performing a variety of roles, including charge nurse, nursing manager and professional development nurse. Finally, in 2002 he returned to his roots at the Whittingham site, now Guild Lodge, as practice development nurse. He continued to lead nursing practice until he died in 2012.

John received a cheque for £100.