Mary Seacole Awards

The RCM is proud to partner with The Mary Seacole Trust to provide a leadership development opportunity to midwives who are working to improve health inequalities, particularly in global majority communities.

Funded by NHS England, this bespoke development programme involves undertaking a leadership development programme, which includes a quality improvement (QI) project. The project will focus on enhancing the experience of people from global majority communities accessing health services through addressing health inequalities. Participants will also be allocated a mentor for support and guidance.

Past midwife winners of the award have published nationally and internationally and have introduced real change in their units.

Entries are now open for the 2023/24 cohort.

Enter today

Who was Mary Seacole?

Mary Seacole, a Jamaican Scottish nurse and businesswoman, was a celebrated Victorian heroine due to her bravery in nursing soldiers in the Crimean War (1853–1856). The Mary Seacole Awards were created in her honour and provide the opportunity for individuals to undertake a specific health care project, educational or development activity that benefits and improves the health outcomes of people from BME communities.

About the awards

The awards are funded by Health Education England, Florence Nightingale Foundation and Mary Seacole Trust with support from Royal College of Midwives, Unison and Unite the Union.

These annual awards for nurses, midwives and health visitors in England have a dual purpose. They directly provide funding for specific health care projects and activities that will benefit and improve the health outcomes of people from BME communities. The work undertaken for an award is expected to contribute to raising the national profile of equality and diversity and redressing health inequalities.

In addition, awardees benefit from a development programme which will develop their leadership and presentation skills and provide an important step forward for their future careers. The awards alumni continue to provide evidence that the awards enhance career opportunities, particularly for professionals from BME communities, at a time when they are under-represented in leadership and management positions.

There are two types of awards, Development and Leadership

  • The development awards may be more suited to those at the beginning of their service/research development career. It is a good opportunity to try out ideas for undertaking a project or other educational/development activity. The aim of this award is to increase the capabilities of individuals in shaping the health of BME communities.
  • The leadership awards are about much more than personal endeavours, they also require the individual to influence developments and changes within their area of work at a service, policy or educational level, involving not just their own professional activities but those of others. Their projects or the applications of the findings are far more wide reaching than the boundaries of their current place of work. In that sense it may be more suited to those ready to take ‘the next step’ in policy/service/educational development and innovation.

For any queries relating to the application process or your eligibility or visit the FAQs on the Royal College of Nursing website.