THE best nursing cadets in the county have been commended at an awards ceremony.

Cadets studying at local colleges and working at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have been honoured in the first ever Cadet Awards which took place at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

Cadets Charley Taylor and Fiona Brotherton, who study at Blackburn and Nelson & Colne College respectively, each received special merit awards from the hospital’s director of nursing, Christine Pearson.

Georgia Spencer from Burnley College also received a special merit prize at the ceremony, but received the additional honour of being named the overall cadet of the year.

Lynne Harrison, cadet scheme facilitator at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are extremely proud of all our cadets and look forward to welcoming new cadets from the colleges when the new academic year starts in September.

“We are delighted to partner with Blackburn, Nelson & Colne and Burnley colleges to provide placements and support for East Lancashire’s nurses of the future.”

A total of 32 nursing cadets from Blackburn College, Burnley College and Nelson and Colne College were also invited on stage to receive certificates of distinction.

In addition, 19 cadet mentors were recognised, with the mentor of the year award going to Kelly Russell, healthcare assistant on ward 27 at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

Following successful completion of the cadet programme, the participants will be going on to their next challenges.

These include going to university as student nurses, student paramedics and student radiographers, as well as entering other professions.

Linda Whitfield, head of workforce education at the trust, said: “We are delighted to support the cadets on placement and honour at this awards ceremony.”

Each year East Lancashire Hospitals welcomes more than 100 cadets from Nelson & Colne, Burnley and Blackburn colleges as they combine hospital placements with academic studies for the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.