Dame Hilary met staff and children at Hallam’s Early Years Community Research Centre, based in the Shirecliffe area of Sheffield. The Centre is home to the Meadows Nursery, a community early years setting for local children aged two to five.
The Centre is the result of a unique partnership between Sheffield Hallam, Watercliffe Meadow School, Save the Children UK, and Sheffield City Council, which aims to give local children the best start in life.
Alongside innovative early years learning and care, the nursery also supports employment and volunteering with parents and carers in the area, and is a hub for multi-disciplinary research, which will benefit children across the UK through dissemination of findings and best practice across the early years sector.
Dame Hilary then travelled to the University’s College of Health Wellbeing and Lifesciences to meet staff and students to discuss their career ambitions, learning experiences at Hallam, and the future of the NHS.
As a former Chief Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dame Hilary spoke to the students about their future aspirations and her experiences during her career in nursing.
Dame Hilary also learned about Sheffield Hallam’s Civic University Agreement, a set of commitments aimed at addressing key regional challenges around the economy, health, education, regeneration, and our communities to improve the lives of people living in South Yorkshire.
Dame Hilary Chapman said: “I have enjoyed a wonderful visit to Sheffield Hallam and was so impressed by the combination of collaborative working, passionate people, and commitment to taking action to help support local communities in South Yorkshire.
“The Meadows Nursery and its staff were an inspiration. The impact they are having on the local Shirecliffe Community is phenomenal and it was a real pleasure to experience that first-hand with the lovely children I met.
“It was also a real privilege to go back to my roots and meet some of Hallam’s outstanding health students and see the modern techniques they are using to inform their practice.”
Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: ““It was a pleasure to welcome Dame Hilary to the University to show her our innovative Early Years Community Research Centre and introduce her to some of our exceptional healthcare students.
“It is fantastic to be able to demonstrate how we are transforming lives through our education, research and partnerships from the early years through to training the next generation of the NHS workforce.”