A Norwich student is aiming to follow in the footsteps of the city’s most famous nursing heroine after being told she is in the running for a prestigious scholarship award.

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Rachel Coldbeck has been shortlisted for interview as a candidate for the 2012/13 Cavell Nurses’ Trust Scholarship Awards. The 20-year-old is now in line to win the community award, which carries with it a travel scholarship worth £1,500.

The student, who is in the third and final year of her mental health nursing course at the University of East Anglia, has been interested in nursing from a young age after joining St John Ambulance at the age of six.

Miss Coldbeck, who wrote a 1,000 word paper to enter the awards, hopes to travel abroad to learn about mental health treatments in other countries when she qualifies in August.

“I am really surprised and really delighted. Healthcare has always interested me and nursing especially. Because I train in the Edith Cavell, it is really nice to be a nurse from Norwich up for this award,” she said.

A total of 22 candidates, who have been shortlisted for five awards, will be interviewed by a judging panel made up of prestigious and experienced nursing and midwifery individuals on February 8 in London before the successful students will be presented with their prizes during an awards ceremony at Fishmongers Hall, in London, on March 21.

The Cavell Nurses’ Trust was set up in memory of first world war nurse Edith Cavell following her execution in 1915. The Swardeston-born nurse helped about 200 soldiers escape from occupied Belgium during the war, which led to her execution by a German firing squad.

The nurses’ trust launched its scholarship awards last year with the aim of recognising exceptional student nurses and midwives in the UK.

The trust, based in Worcestershire, launched a three-year Centenary Appeal last year, which will culminate in the 100th anniversary of Edith Cavell’s death in October 2015. The appeal aims to double the number of beneficiaries which the charity helps through grant giving and welfare support. It supports the UK’s 650,000 registered nurses, midwives, and health care assistants, together with retired and student nurses, who need financial help following illness, injury and other difficulties.

Further information about the scholarship awards can be found by visiting the awards website at http://awards.cavellnursestrust.org.uk

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