A nurse talking through a Target Ovarian Cancer leaflet with a woman

Celebrating our Nurse Hero award winners

Last summer we launched the Nurse Hero Awards – to recognise Clinical Specialist Nurses (CNSs) across the UK for their dedication and support to those living with ovarian cancer, and their families. We're delighted to announce the winners.

Ovarian cancer affects around 7,500 women every year in the UK, and a diagnosis can be devastating. Helping them navigate their diagnosis and treatment are Clinical Nurse Specialists – otherwise known as Nurse Heroes.  

In the summer of 2023, we launched the Nurse Hero Awards – the first of its kind that specifically recognises Clinical Specialist Nurses (CNSs) across the UK for their dedication and support to those living with ovarian cancer, and their families.  

We were inundated with heartfelt nominations, emphasising the extent CNSs go to to reduce fear and feelings of isolation of which, according to our latest research 75% of those with a diagnosis experience.  

A panel of judges spent hours deliberating which Nurse Heroes would be named winners, due to the high standard of nominations received. The winners announced were:  

Care category: An individual who clearly improves care or services  

Michelle Winser

Michelle, a CNS at Guy’s Hospital, was ‘touched’ to hear she’d been nominated. Michelle, who has been a nurse for over 10 years, is passionate about being able to support patients throughout their diagnosis and treatment acknowledging that while it can be a challenging and emotional role, it is very rewarding. She said:  

Finding out I have won this award has been a proud moment in my career. CNSs play a vital role for both patients and healthcare professionals in a patient’s cancer journey, they are a centre point of contact for both. Ovarian cancer can be unpredictable and at times a highly symptomatic disease to manage. Accessing services and navigating pathways can often be stressful for patients and relatives, a CNS can support alleviating stressors, reassure, and reiterate information to patients, advocate for patients and be a centre point of contact for patients and relatives. Having access to this supportive service from diagnosis hopefully eases some of the burden for the patient and makes them feel they have a specialist they can turn to.

A photo of Michelle Winser with her Nurse Hero Award certificate and flowers wearing a Target Ovarian Cancer tshirt

Focus category: An individual who recognises and addresses the needs of patients and their loved ones.

Corinne Rowbotham

Corinne, a CNS at Spire Portsmouth Hospital, qualified in 1992 and became a CNS to help patients through some of the most difficult times of their lives, and ensure they have the best quality of life while receiving care. She said:

When I was told that I had been nominated for an award, my first thought was that I had been mixed up with someone else! It is a real privilege to be a CNS. Patients open up to you and trust you. I feel that if patients have the right support, they can get through anything. I have always tried to treat patients the way I would like a family member to be treated. To explain things in a way they understand, but not scare them. Empowering them to make contact when they need help or feel unwell. Going above and beyond when needed, it is often the little things that make the difference.  

A photo of Corinne Rowbotham with her Nurse Hero Award certificate wearing a Target Ovarian Cancer tshirt

Value category: An Individual who is a clear benefit to their patients and colleagues

Sylvia Agyare

Sylvia, a CNS working at Circle Health Group at Bishops Wood Hospital qualified in 1982. She said:  

Receiving the Target Ovarian Cancer Nurse Hero Award for Target Ovarian Cancer is both surprising and deeply touching. The fact that my patient took the time to nominate me is a humbling reminder of the profound connection we have with our patients. This recognition reinforces my commitment to providing unwavering support and care to those facing cancer. I am honoured to stand alongside my patients and will continue to be a steadfast advocate in their journey.

A photo of Sylvia Agyare with her Nurse Hero Award certificate wearing a Target Ovarian Cancer tshirt

Other winners included:

Above and beyond category: Individual who goes the extra mile and above the requirements of their role for their patients

Emma Christou 

We're dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by ovarian cancer. We have a Clinical Nurse Specialist group to bring together CNSs from across the UK to share learnings and experiences. In addition to this, we offer free training to GPs to improve knowledge of ovarian cancer, as well as providing support for women through our dedicated nurse support helpline.