From education to employment

Brockenhurst College Greenwood Bursary awarded to future nurse who was inspired by care given to sister

A teenager who was inspired to become a nurse after witnessing the care given to her seriously ill sister has been awarded Brock’s Greenwood Bursary to study Nursing at university.

Ruby McEvoy’s sister Elisa died in January 2023 following years of treatment for health complications, including breathing difficulties, which were caused by her cerebral palsy.

From December 2022 until she passed away in January 2023, nine-year-old Elisa received end-of-life care at Julia’s House Hospice in Corfe Mullen, with Ruby undertaking her studies while maintaining a bedside vigil.

Bursary founders John and Marion Greenwood were so moved by her story and impressed by her predicted grades, resilience and determination that they swiftly chose her to be their 2023 beneficiary.

Ruby recently completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at Brockenhurst College, making her the first Vocational student to receive the Greenwood Bursary.

Ruby McEvoy

In August she received her results, which revealed she had hit the highest possible standards, securing three distinction-star grades.

After opening her results, the former Avonbourne Girls Academy pupil said:

“I feel totally amazed. I really didn’t think I was going to do as well as I did.

“I thought I was going to get distinctions, so to get triple distinction-star was a shock. I’m feeling very impressed with myself – I don’t know how I did it.”

Ruby will now accept her offer from Swansea University to study a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Adult Nursing.

After graduating from university, she aims to complete several years in practice before using her qualification and experience to work abroad for a time – possibly in the developing world.

Ruby, who is from Bournemouth, first decided to follow nursing as a career aged just 11, having been motivated by the knowledge, skills, compassion and empathy shown by nurses treating her sibling.

She said: “When Elisa went into hospital for her treatments, I used to watch the nurses and think about how heroic they were – I thought, I want to be like that.

“That was when I was 11, and now I’m 18 I still feel the same way – their compassion, their empathy, their knowledge and skills… they are just magnificent…

“Mr and Mrs Greenwood have given me the opportunity to realise my dream of changing people’s lives for the better and making a lasting, positive impact.

“I cannot thank them enough – when they told me I had been successful, it felt like a dream, and I can hardly believe it now.”

John and Marion Greenwood from Lyndhurst established the Brockenhurst College Greenwood Bursary in 2019.

Ruby and the Greenwoods

Each year a talented and hardworking Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) student from Brockenhurst College, who faces financial hardship, benefits from a university education in a STEM subject.

STEM is the collective term for science, technology, engineering and maths.

Marion Greenwood said:

“Ruby is a very impressive young woman who has already experienced a lot in her life.

“John and I were moved by her story and impressed by her maturity, her college record and the reasoning behind her ambitions.

“She is a credit to her family and Brockenhurst College, and I have no doubt that in the future she will be a credit to her profession as well.”

Ruby will update the Greenwoods regularly about her progress and meet with them every summer to discuss her future.

Ruby and her mum

Brockenhurst College Principal, Helen Odhams, said:

“Congratulations to Ruby – we wish her well in her studies and look forward to hearing about her progress.

“Also, thank you to Mr and Mrs Greenwood for their ongoing commitment to enabling a Brockenhurst College STEM leaver to begin a degree programme each year.

“Their generosity means a great deal to the students they support, who might not otherwise feel able to attend university.”

John Greenwood worked in the engineering, chemical and textile industries during his long and successful career.

Meanwhile, Marion Greenwood worked with children in schools and became increasingly concerned that many promising youngsters were unable to fulfil their potential due to financial constraints.

The application process for the 2024 Greenwood Bursary will open to Brockenhurst College STEM students this autumn.

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