News story

Student nurses train to be better allies

London, UKLearning NewsMarshall E-Learning

A new cohort of student nurses from the University of Surrey have been trained on how they can be better allies. Marshalls and the university have come together to collaborate on a new module called Allyship


From being long-standing existing clients to now collaborating with them on their latest module, Marshalls are so gearing up to release their Allyship Module in partnership with the University of Surrey (School of Health Sciences).

They have worked alongside Emily Williams, Reader in Health Inequalities and Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, to form the Allyship module which covers some really important issues, especially with regards to how we can become better allies.

Being an ally means recognising that certain groups enjoy privileges and advantages that are not granted to other groups, and working with people from these disadvantaged groups to help dismantle the structurally unequal systems. This e-learning covered in depth what it meant to be a good ally with a focus on race equality, and covers a range of situations of where we can be better allies.

As a part of the same project aiming to reduce structural inequalities within healthcare and higher education, a Let’s Talk About Race session was held for a new cohort of nursing students.

This session was facilitated by Marshall’s brilliant Dawn Lewinson, who received excellent feedback from both students and staff alike. It was an opportunity to have questions answered, and more importantly for there to be an open, honest conversation about race and its impact on nursing careers and patient care. It was important that the students had examples that were related to nursing early in their education, to be able to relate their learning and improved understanding to their work for maximum patient benefit.

Despite there being a tight time frame to get the e-learning module and the sessions ready, everything came together and was a great success. Ann Allcock, Head of Diversity at Marshalls, was really pleased with how everything went, saying:

"Marshalls was absolutely delighted to be asked by Surrey’s School of Health Sciences to create a bespoke e-learning module on Allyship and to accompany and reinforce this with facilitated Let’s Talk about Race sessions for the new cohort of student nurses. This was a really exciting project, which demonstrated how taking a blended approach to learning can be extremely impactful.  By combining online learning with open and respectful conversations in a safe environment, we have been able to offer a practical and engaging  experience for participants, and an effective and sustainable solution for the University."

Emily Williams, Reader in Health Inequalities and Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion had this to say,

“Working with Marshalls on components of our study has been exciting.  The facilitated session delivered by Dawn was the first time our nursing students had experienced an open conversation about race and racism in healthcare.  Dawn was excellent at engaging the students in a safe discussion and it was amazing to see a few lightbulb moments from students where they understood their privilege and responsibility in this space.  We are also really pleased with the allyship training will builds on Dawn’s session and gives students the tools to be the best allies they can”

To find out more information, check out their website here or drop them an email at [email protected]