Students aim to be the next generation of NHS heroes

Pupils at Heckmondwike Grammar School have been offered places to study medicine at some of the UK’s top universities after being inspired by the dedicated response of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Dominic Brown
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 8:00 am
28 Heckmondwike Grammar students hold offers to read medicine and nursing at university
28 Heckmondwike Grammar students hold offers to read medicine and nursing at university

The school is celebrating a bumper year of applications to read medicine and nursing, with 28 students currently holding offers to read these subjects, inspired to further their education and pursue careers in healthcare by the heroic service and self-sacrifice of frontline NHS professionals.

Hasnain Nawaz, who is holding an offer to read medicine and surgery at Lancaster University, said: “I am so excited for the future ahead for me as a doctor, to support the brilliant NHS and health service team and to really make the future a better and brighter place for people in the health service.”

Natasha Clegg, who aspires to read mental health nursing at the University of Manchester, said: “The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have emphasised the prominent issue of mental health.

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“My desire is to work compassionately in an environment where every single day I can make a difference to people’s lives and help them to regain their purpose.”

Mariam Helal, who is holding two offers to read medicine, at Hull-York Medical School and Newcastle University, said: “A career as a doctor offers the unique opportunity to pursue interests in science and research whilst simultaneously being able to positively impact people, society, and local communities.”

The school’s 24 medics and four nurses are joined by 35 other students who hold offers to study healthcare-related degrees, in subjects ranging from audiology and dentistry to optometry and pharmacy.

This means that more than 30 per cent of the school’s university applicants are committed to degrees and future careers in fields related to healthcare.

Speaking on behalf of the school, head teacher Peter Roberts praised the work ethic and character of the students.

He said: “The school is tremendously proud of the students’ achievements, which are testament not only to their ability, but their typical ‘Heckmondwike’ work ethic and character.

“This has been a difficult year for everybody, but despite this, our students have not only been very successful, but have chosen a career of serving society and prioritising the needs of others – an admirable quality.”