Queen’s Nurse, Alison Bunce who created a compassionate social movement to support her community is named Nurse of the Year 2022.
Alison founded and leads Compassionate Inverclyde, a growing and self-organising collaboration of ordinary people, faith groups, voluntary organisations and businesses.
This social movement works alongside healthcare professionals to support people in crisis.
Alison, who received her award at a ceremony in London on October 6, was chosen from 530 nominees. She won praise for the ambition and imagination she has shown for her community, and the impact her leadership has had on the people receiving support and volunteers.
Alison said of the RCN Nurse of the Year award: ‘It endorses nurses being in positions that are creative and innovative. I’ve been very proud to be a nurse since I started my training in 1981 and I try every day to be a role model to other nurses and the people I work alongside who want to make a difference.’
Compassionate Inverclyde volunteers support a wide range of people in the community. Companions sit with people who would otherwise be alone in their final hours of life and new mothers are befriended and supported in breastfeeding. Volunteers offer toiletries and night clothes to people admitted to hospital in an emergency, and fill and deliver ‘back home boxes’ to inpatients living alone who are discharged home.
Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation for Nursing Studies and awards judging panel chair, said: ‘Ms Bunce demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of her community, collaborated with it and built up its assets.
‘We know our communities will become increasingly important. There is less money for care and people have increasing needs, so creativity will be the way forward. Nurses are closest to their communities and should be leading in this space. She has taken full advantage of every opportunity and she’s a fantastic role model for nurses.’
Ms Bunce won the Lloyds Pharmacy Home Care-sponsored Leadership category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022 before being named the overall RCN Nurse of the Year 2022.
Head of nursing Joanne Upton says: ‘Alison’s work has demonstrated the benefits of compassion and kindness. We were so impressed by her dedication. This programme not only makes a positive impact in the community but also challenges society through the companionship programmes for people in the last hours of life. I am truly amazed at the holistic approach and look forward to seeing this translated on a broader scale.’