‘Brave’ tutor Elaine returns to the NHS front line

Published: April 9, 2020

A Telford College health and social care tutor has returned to the NHS front line to help the fight against Covid-19.

Elaine Colley has started work on the respiratory ward at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, and been praised by colleagues for her bravery.

She joins several other past and present health and social care graduates from Telford College who are also performing key NHS roles during the coronavirus crisis.

Elaine qualified as a nurse in 1995, working at hospitals in Wordsley and Wolverhampton in specialist areas such as renal medicine, and cardiothoracic surgery.

Since retraining as a teacher, she has worked at Telford College for the past 13 years, and volunteers for The Silver Line, helping those suffering with loneliness or isolation.

At the heart of the NHS fight are former Telford College level three health and social care trio Leanne McVey, Rebekah Edwards and Katie Hanley.

Leanne, from Horsehay, a former Charlton School student, is now working as a midwife in Swindon.

Rebekah, from The Rock, is a mental health nurse on the female acute ward with the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

And former Telford Langley School student Katie Hanley, from Stirchley, is now working for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

At the heart of the NHS fight...

Telford College health and social care learner manager Sarah Cadenne de Lannoy, said: “We’re very proud of them all. Elaine is being so brave stepping onto the front line, putting her life at risk to help others.

“During her time with us, she has helped many students on their journeys to becoming nurses, midwives, social workers, paramedics and many more caring careers.

“All the members of the health staff team here at Telford College have joined together and prayed to keep her safe during this time.”

She added: “We also have Emily Jones, a third year student nurse who has volunteered to work on the front line and is in accident and emergency at Russells Hall in Dudley.

“Emily could easily have stayed as a student and waited, but has decided she wanted to work and help.”

Several other Telford College staff members have signed up for the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme, including Jane Forrest-Thompson, Martin French, Andrew Shouli and Sue Davey.

Jane has been accepted for the ‘Check in and Chat’ programme, which makes phone calls to vulnerable people, and helps with jobs such as collecting prescriptions and grocery, or transport to hospital appointments.

And Martin has been accepted by My Telford as a volunteer for the Telford and Wrekin area.

Telford College has also donated marker pens and poly pockets for use in Shropshire hospitals, and staff have been helping the community effort to source other much-needed items.

Graham Guest, Telford College principal and chief executive, said: “It is humbling and hugely gratifying to see so many of our colleagues, as well as our health and social care graduates, stepping forward to make such brave and selfless contributions. We are very proud of them.”

Listen to Elaine’s interview on BBC Radio Shropshire