A mother and daughter, who are both student nurses with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust have said they jumped at the chance to support patients on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emma Scott and daughter Pollyanna Halliwell found themselves on the frontline, while in the final year of their nursing degrees with Plymouth University.
The university agreed to place final year students in clinical setting to support the NHS in light of the pandemic and Pollyanna has now started working on Ainslie Ward in Torbay Hospital, while Emma is working in the Newton Abbot Minor Injuries Unit (MIU).
While training together, they're also living together along with Emma's husband, son and grand-daughter.
Emma and Pollyanna said:
“When the call came in from the university asking for volunteer students to support the NHS during the pandemic there was no hesitation in our house - we were more than ready.
"We are now both placed within the Trust completing our training whilst supporting the NHS.”
Emma has worked for the Trust for over 15 years, but in a Health Care Assistant capacity and then joined the Trust's nursing apprenticeship scheme.
She was able to work for the Trust, while training on her apprenticeship and was subsequently able to join the second year of the BSc Adult Nursing egree.
She added that she'd like to continue her work in the MIU once her apprenticeship has finished:
“It has not only been a huge learning opportunity but to be able to embark on the journey with my daughter was amazing.
“Support for each other brought us closer with a better understanding of each other and how we manage change and stress.
“To go through the training together and complete a degree as mother and daughter.
"with over a 20-year age gap has shown strengths and weakness on both sides – I understand how the Trust runs and increased my clinical skills and knowledge.
"While Pollyanna has more recent study experience than me and is more confident with the academic side.
"We quickly both realised that we learn and write in different styles.
“To have been given the opportunity of gaining my degree with the support of the Trust has been a great opportunity.
"Without it I would never have got this far. I cannot thank the Trust enough.”
Pollyanna previously worked in care homes after leaving school, where her 'love for caring' started, and then began her BSc Nursing degree after an access course at South Devon College.
“Doing my degree alongside being a mum has been challenging but also very rewarding.
"In September 2018 when I was going into the second year my mum also joined my cohort on the degree course.
"She has helped support me and advise me along the way.
"For us both to be on the journey of reaching our passion in life in becoming registered nurses is amazing and I couldn't imagine doing it without her.”