THE MOTHER of the late Stephen Sutton MBE – the inspirational charity activist and blogger who raised £5 million for Teenage Cancer Trust – has attended the graduation ceremony of the first students to receive a scholarship named in her son’s memory.
Jane Sutton joined friends and family at Coventry University to celebrate the graduation of the first four Post Graduate Certificate in Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Care students who had their tuition fees paid for through the Stephen Sutton Scholarship.
The award-winning course covers the latest developments and innovations in supporting the unique needs of teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer.
Speaking at the graduation, Mrs Sutton said: “To be invited back to Coventry University, two years on from collecting Stephen’s posthumous honorary doctorate in science, and witness the first students to graduate after benefiting from the‘Stephen Sutton Scholarship is an honour and a privilege.
“Congratulations to everyone who has graduated here today.
“Stephen’s wish was for every young person diagnosed with cancer to receive the best possible care and treatment.
“He would be thrilled to know these scholarships are playing such an important role in developing the knowledge of professionals working with young cancer patients and are therefore instrumental in helping to fulfil his wish.”
The scholarship funding is part of the incredible £5.6 million raised through donations inspired by Stephen Sutton – £1.6 million of which is being spent on professional development for nurses and specialist staff.
Also graduating, Steven Shiels, Young Persons Social Worker at the children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent, went on to receive an academic Excellence Award in recognition of his dedication and commitment to high standards work while completing the post-graduate course.
He said: “Receiving the Stephen Sutton Academic Excellence Award is a humbling achievement for me. It is an absolute honour to receive an award associated with Stephen’s legacy.
“Completing the Post Graduate Certificate in Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Care has been a rewarding experience, and everything I have learnt will help me achieve the best possible results for the young cancer patients I work with in my role at CLIC Sargent.”
Stephen was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 15 and passed away in May 2014 aged just 19.
His struggle captured the hearts of the nation and his ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve in the time he had left, still inspires people to continue to fundraise for Stephen’s JustGiving to this day.
Visit www.coventry.ac.uk/teenagecancercare to find out more details about the scholarship, which is available to anyone who works with teenagers and young people with cancer – including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, youth workers, and social workers.