A cohort of newly graduated nurses are putting their hands in their pockets to help families in need across the Highlands by donating £1,500 to charity.
Students from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) BSC in Nursing were due to graduate during an official ceremony on November 3 followed by a grand ball at the Kingsmills Hotel four days later.
Dozens of Inverness students were due to attend the ball alongside fellow members of their cohort from the Western Isles to celebrate their collective achievements.
However, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions, organisers pulled the plug.
Nurse Katie Moneagle, from Kingussie, said the cancelled event marked the end to a rough spell leading up to the conclusion of their nursing degree.
She said: “All our classes were cancelled as of March but we should have still been in university for around six weeks. We were told that we either had to go out on an extended placement, take a year out or not graduate this year at all. All of my cohort opted in for the extended placement. I went out on placement in the first week in April and I was on the same placement for six months.
“We didn’t get to graduate at all really. We had to graduate in absentia.”
Rather than refunding their deposit, the students chose to donate it to a local cause.
The group are now preparing to donate £1500 to MFR Cash for Kids to help bring relief to disadvantaged families in the north.
The 35-year-old, who now works within the Inverness community, said they hope their donation will help bring joy to those following a tumultuous year.
She added: “We have all had a rotten year and Christmas isn’t going to be the same for any of us so it was just a thought to try and help local kids have a nice Christmas or a bit of a better Christmas.
“With us all being in the jobs that we are, we are seeing people who are struggling on a daily basis.
“It was important to us as a whole cohort and as a group that we could give something back to someone and make it a bit of a better year.”