RCN London announces Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic nursing Rising Stars of 2020 to kick off Black History Month Celebrations


RCN London has today announced the winners of this year’s Rising Star Awards.  The awards are part of RCN London’s celebrations for Black History Month which launch today, 1 October 2020.    

The Rising Star Awards recognise excellence in patient care, innovation, and leadership from London’s Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) nursing community. RCN London received more nominations than ever in 2020, a year that has seen nursing at forefront of London’s response to COVID-19.

This year’s winners were recognised for giving a voice to staff and patients, for empowering themselves or encouraging others to take action, and for showing compassion, innovation, and leadership.  The winners work across a range of settings including in hospitals and out in the community, and in clinical areas such as critical care, paediatrics, mental health and end of life care.  

Black History Month is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of nursing staff from BAME backgrounds who work in health and social care in the capital.  The London region has the most diverse workforce in England with 44.9% of all NHS trust staff being from a BAME background.1

Rising Star winner, Mina Long-John, who works in the General Intensive Care Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“When I heard I had won this award I was so taken aback. The last six months have been some of the most challenging times nursing staff in London have ever experienced, especially for nursing staff from BAME backgrounds. 

“It is a privilege to win because this shows the challenges my BAME colleagues and I have overcome have not gone unnoticed. I hope these awards will bring us a step closer to a future in which no group of patients or staff goes unheard.” 

Clare Leon Villapalos, Lead Nurse in Critical Care at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, who nominated Mina for this award, said:

“During the pandemic surge in intensive care, Mina provided essential, meaningful clinical leadership, to both our substantive staff and to the many redeployed staff in Critical Care.

“At times we were concerned that some BAME nursing staff were afraid and they might be at more risk, but Mina was absolutely key in providing sound education, listening to people’s fears and leading by example in the clinical setting. I believe her influence, presence and courageous, open, leadership was essential to supporting our staff.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: 

“I want to congratulate all the winners for their outstanding work in providing compassionate and innovative healthcare to Londoners. 

“Nursing staff from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds have played a crucial role in caring for Londoners during this incredibly challenging year, and it’s vital that we celebrate their work.

“They are an inspiration to us all and I hope their work encourages even more Londoners into nursing.”

Congratulating the winners, RCN Regional Director for London, Lisa Elliott, said:

“Our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic nursing community play a vital role in caring for Londoners.  The expertise and professionalism shown by our Rising Stars represent nursing care at its best as well as demonstrating the unique contribution our BAME nursing community in London makes.   

However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there is still a huge amount of work to do to ensure our nursing colleagues from BAME backgrounds have the same opportunities as others.  RCN London is committed to taking a leading role in promoting the voice of the BAME nursing community in the capital and challenging employers where poor practice exists.   

The full list of winners is below

Angela Simiyu

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Annick Ouambo Fotso

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Blessing King

St Joseph’s Hospice

Boshura Khatun

Barts Health NHS Trust

Deon Irozuru

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Dorcas Boamah

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Doreen Sibbick

The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Esther Peters

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

Grace Milner

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Grace Nabus

The Royal Hospital Chelsea

Ismahaan Ahmed

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Judith Davis

Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Kerry Barriffe

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Larissa Derreck

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

Lauren Gordon

Bupa Cromwell Hospital

Lianta Downes

Whittington Health NHS trust

Lola Smith

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Lorraine Welch

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Melvina Stober

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

Mina Long-John

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Mwanasiti Siokwu

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust

Olympia Amoo

Whittington Health NHS trust

Roberto Avila

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Theona Madure

The Huntercombe Group