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Nikki named hospital trust’s Community Hero

Posted: 06 July 2023

West Nottinghamshire College’s assistant principal for health, education and service industries, Nikki Slack, is celebrating after winning the Community Hero Award at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust’s 2023 Excellence Awards.

Nikki (centre) accepts her award from Sally Brook Shanahan, the Trust’s director of corporate affairs, and David Ainsworth, the Trust’s director of strategy and partnerships.
Nikki (centre) accepts her award from Sally Brook Shanahan, the Trust’s director of corporate affairs, and David Ainsworth, the Trust’s director of strategy and partnerships.

The Awards, which took place on Wednesday 5 July – the 75th birthday of the NHS – honoured colleagues and community partners who go above and beyond for the Trust, which runs King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Newark Hospital. 

The ceremony, held at the John Fretwell Sporting Complex, near Mansfield, was the first time since 2019 that the awards had been held in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It saw almost 300 people come together to celebrate the winners and their fantastic achievements. 

Nikki was amongst 19 winners on the evening, made up of individuals and teams.

The Community Hero Award recognises people living and working within the local community who help to make a positive difference.

Nikki was shortlisted for being instrumental in the delivery of Trainee Nursing Associates – a programme which brought 50 new employees to the Trust – and three successful ‘Step into the NHS’ recruitment events in partnership with the Trust and Nottingham Trent University.

She is also an Appointed Governor for the Trust and contributes to the work it does across health and education for the benefit of local communities.

Joining Nikki on the shortlist for the award was Gilly Hagen, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, and Clare Harris, of the Emily Harris Foundation.

Gilly was nominated for her work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in helping to establish a community transport scheme that supported people to collect medications and get to appointments during lockdown.

Clare, who runs the Foundation with her husband Neil, was shortlisted for raising more than £250,000 for the Neonatal Unit at King’s Mill Hospital since 2008 on what would have been their daughter Emily’s second birthday, after seeing first-hand how the unit benefits the parents of newborn babies needing extra care. 

Instead, Claire was named as the worthy winner of the Chair Award, which is specially chosen by Claire Ward, chair of the Trust.

Nikki said: “I’m immensely proud to have won the Community Hero award. It has been a privilege to work closely with partners at Sherwood Forest Hospitals on important initiatives such as the ‘Step into the NHS’ events, which have given people in our communities the opportunity to see the many careers on offer within their local hospitals.

“This is just the beginning of our work to provide people in Mansfield and Ashfield with a clear route into high-quality employment in the health service, starting with the education and training that forms such a crucial stage in this pathway.”

The college’s principal and chief executive, Andrew Cropley, said: “I’m delighted and proud that Nikki has been recognised by our partners at Sherwood Forest Hospitals for her outstanding leadership of our growing collaboration with them.

“Nikki’s creativity, tenacity and openness to new ideas has been a major asset in helping the hospital address its skills challenges and in supporting many local people to take the first steps towards a rewarding and productive career, and this accolade is richly deserved.

“I’m excited about what Nikki and the college can achieve next in supporting our NHS as it moves into its 76th year.”

Claire Ward, chair of the Trust, said: “The level of commitment shown by all the nominees is so inspiring to see and it has been humbling to hear all their stories. Congratulations to all the winners and all of those who were shortlisted for awards.”

Paul Robinson, chief executive at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “Seeing all these wonderful people being honoured for going above and beyond in their roles and displaying acts of kindness and care to all those they encounter makes me so proud to be chief executive.

“Many people comment on how welcome, inclusive, and friendly they find colleagues at the Trust and the Excellence Awards are a great chance for the Trust to celebrate all its amazing colleagues and honour their achievements.”

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