A father-of-two who turned to nursing in his 40s has been named as the winner of a prestigious university award.
Andrew Jupp spent more than 20 years in a technical support role with BT before taking an online psychology degree with the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Now about to graduate with a BSc in nursing, he is the winner of the university’s 2021 Chancellor’s Nursing Award.
Andrew, 49, from Tain, was recognised for his academic excellence, compassionate nature and determination to succeed.
Award presented on behalf of Prince Royal
Established in 2020, the annual award is presented on behalf of the university’s Chancellor, The Princess Royal.
He said: “I’m delighted to receive this award.
“It’s an acknowledgment of three years of hard work as an adult with family responsibilities.”
It was while working on a week-on-week-off basis in his previous job he decided to study psychology.
“It was something that really interested me. I was looking to carry that on somewhere so mental health nursing seemed to be the obvious route for that.”
During his studies he spent time with the Invergordon community mental health team during the Covid pandemic.
“It was a bit different as in community mental health you usually see people in their houses.
“But because of Covid there were a lot of video calls. It was still a great experience.”
Andy, who this week started work with the drug and alcohol recovery service at Inverness Justice Centre, receives £100 and an engraved glass award.
He was nominated by his personal academic tutor Anne Leiper.
She said he has consistently achieved excellent marks for his academic work and has been a role model to fellow students.
“He has done exceptionally well in balancing caring commitments for his wife and children, while undertaking his degree.
Covid emergency placement
“During his studies, Andy worked in a variety of hospital and community settings and undertook a Covid-19 emergency clinical placement, providing him with experience of nursing during a pandemic.”
Anne said Andy’s mentors have praised his conduct, level of professionalism and non-judgemental manner.
“Andy is a kind, warm and caring student, who has a good degree of maturity that enables him to work effectively and compassionately, especially in challenging situations.”
Last year he was awarded a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship and carried out a research project investigating the attitudes of staff and students in the university’s department of nursing and midwifery on LGBT+ patients.
He has done exceptionally well in balancing caring commitments for his wife and children, while undertaking his degree.
The research will contribute to curriculum development and ensuring future nurses work with this patient group in an inclusive manner.
Other students nominated for the award were Joanna Shepherd, from Dornoch; Natalie Roska and Eilidh Thomas (Inverness); Lorraine MacDonald (Dalcross): Linsey Stanyer (Tain) and Olivia Phillips from Rosemarkie.
Olivia was highly commended and the others were commended.