A clinical matron, who works in Winchester, has won a national award at the BAME apprenticeship awards 2021.

Champika Dona won in the Health, Medical and Social Care category for her apprenticeship with previous trust Yeovil District Hospital Trust, where she completed the Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship programme at University of Exeter Business School.

Champika, who gained her nursing qualification in Sri Lanka before emigrating to the UK in 2006, has worked in the NHS for over 12 years and is now bringing her expertise to Hampshire Hospitals as clinical matron at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, caring for elective orthopaedic patients.

At the award ceremony, Champika was praised for being “dedicated, ambitious and committed to achieving her goals” and a “great example of how apprenticeships can change your life”.

Champika expressed how proud she was to win the award.

She said: “I feel the NHS is great place to work and there is no place to replace it. Everyone who works for the NHS are working together as one big team for the same purpose – providing the best care to patients.

“I am just one example of how there are so many opportunities in the NHS for people to flourish.”

Champika also said that she believes the apprenticeship will benefit her role as she is able to apply all that she has learnt in the classroom.

Julie Dawes, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “I want to share our heartfelt congratulations to Champika and we are thrilled to welcome her to team HHFT.

“Alongside the nursing team, I am looking forward to working together to continue to provide the best possible care to our patients, and champion the incredible difference staff from all backgrounds make every day.”

The BAME apprenticeship awards, which launched in 2016, aims to celebrate talent and diversity as well as recognising apprenticeships and the contributions that have been made by BAME communities.