Oct 2022 / Learners

Wales’ leading training provider, ACT, is proudly celebrating Healthcare learner, Jenna Smith, who has won a prestigious Inspire! award.

The budding nurse, who worked at the busy Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil during the Covid pandemic, won the Skills for Work Award, at the Inspire! Adult Learning Awards. She collected the honour at a glittering ceremony in St Fagan’s National Museum of History on Thursday, October 20.

The awards celebrate people across Wales who have gained a positive experience from adult learning. Run by the Learning and Work Institute, the awards exist to honour those improving their own lives with training – demonstrating the important transformation that lifelong learning can have.

Selfless Jenna first had a job as Clinical Healthcare Support Worker at Prince Charles Hospital, before signing up for a Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support with ACT, to formally qualify in the healthcare sector, getting her closer to her goal of becoming a qualified nurse.

Then, the pandemic hit and Jenna’s ward was turned in to an Intensive Care Unit for Covid patients. Yet despite the high-stress environment and heart-breaking scenes, Jenna was more determined than ever to help patients in the NHS.

Working with vulnerable patients, she quickly learned about specialist equipment and techniques to support patients throughout the pandemic, as well as provide holistic care and support.  Jenna was described as a “tower of strength” by colleagues in the ward.

After being announced as the winner, delighted Jenna, from Merthyr Tydfil, said she couldn’t have done it without ACT and the support she received from staff.

I’m overjoyed to be awarded the Skills for Work Award with Inspire!, after being nominated by Natalie Williams, my wonderful assessor with ACT. Natalie has been extremely supportive and helped me through some very difficult personal and professional circumstances that I experienced while working in the hospital, during the pandemic.

“I couldn’t thank or recommend ACT enough for supporting me through my qualification, which has allowed me to start my nursing degree with the Open University. ACT is an amazing, flexible way of gaining qualifications as you work!”

Natalie Williams, Clinical Health IQA at ACT, was happy to share in Jenna’s fabulous news. She said: “I am beyond thrilled to see Jenna win this award as she really truly does deserve it. Covid was a very difficult time for her, but she never let it stop her because she was so determined to achieve her qualification and give something back.”

For more on the training opportunities available at ACT, please see here.