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Canavan Award launched to recognise nursing contribution to pandemic

9 Nov 2021

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Northern Ireland has launched a new award in recognition of the commitment and support that nursing staff have given to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 A range of nursing staff across every sector will be given the opportunity to apply for a bursary to support an area they have a particular passion for.

This award has only been made possible thanks to the fundraising of Tyrone man Pat Canavan who lost both his sister and brother to COVID-19, just weeks apart, earlier this year. Pat was so moved by the contribution of nursing staff to the pandemic, and in particular the care received by his brother and sister, that he decided to fundraise to give something back to the nursing community.

Fiona Devlin, RCN Northern Ireland Board Chair said: “This award has only been made possible thanks to the selfless fundraising by Pat Canavan to give something back for the excellent nursing care given to his brother and sister. Despite experiencing the loss of loved ones, Pat has put all of his energies into trying to do something positive out of a devastating situation. As nurses, we are extremely grateful to him for making this possible.”

Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, Rita Devlin, added: “We all know that funding within the health service is hard to come by. Thanks to Pat, nursing staff will have the opportunity to explore an area of work they would like to develop but would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so. There is no doubt that this will contribute towards improving both patient experiences and outcomes in the future.”

For further information and to apply for the Canavan Award, please email The closing date for applications is 31 January 2022. 

Page last updated - 30/04/2022