Duchy Health Charity

Cornwall’s leading grant giving health charity for the promotion of health and wellbeing
and the prevention of sickness in Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly

Founders of healthcare and wellbeing related initiatives
can apply for grants to help reach their objectives
Posted on 17 May 2024

On Wednesday 21 February, one of our Associates, Tim Guy, attended the University of Exeter Prizes and Awards evening and gave the Duchy Health Charity Award for Excellence to Rhiannon Spannaus, 4th year BA student at the University’s Faculty for Health & Life Sciences. 

This award is for an exemplary student studying for a medical degree in Cornwall.

Rhiannon went away with a host of other prizes too, having also achieved the best overall score for OSCE and SSU.

The event was hosted by Professor Richard Holland, Deputy PVC and the Dean of Exeter Medical School.  Both Richard and Tim gave the award and certificate, followed by Tim’s speech:

“My slot is always at the end of a wonderfully exciting and rewarding ceremony and I have had the honour and privilege of saying the last words for nigh on 10 years this year.  I usually say something about the Duchy Health Charity – its work in Cornwall and the reason why we give financial rewards to those students studying at Exeter but working with us in and around the county.

Not this year.  This is my last ceremony and my last speech to you.  I have retired as a Trustee and this will be the last year that this award is being given in its present form.  So I’ve determined to finish with a flourish and try to touch all your hearts and minds with something of a climax.

I talked with our award winner before the ceremony, brilliant Rhiannon, who is on the Bachelor of Medicine, Surgery Degree programme, and could see that she has clearly found her passion in life – both socially and professionally as many of you will have done so too, otherwise you would not have taken on such onerous tasks within such a dedicated service.

For the last 8 years, following my retirement from my own company, I have been a university lecturer and I really do know and understand what drives some of you to success – namely having that passion in what you do and want to achieve.  But many don’t find that passion until later in life – or not at all… but when you do, you know it… it makes your life totally fulfilling because your whole being is transformed.

We use the word wellbeing far too lightly but realising and going beyond your potential for the sake of humanity is transformative and there are few careers other than within in your profession that can reach such heights. 

So let us all celebrate today as being one of those early steps to fulfilling your passion, and you can be sure that all the people you meet in life and help will witness your passion and that will affect their lives too.  It can also encourage them to strive to find their passion. 

Once more thank you for letting me share in your celebrations.” 

Professor Richard Holand, Rhiannon Spannaus and Tim Guy
Professor Richard Holland, Rhiannon Spannaus and Tim Guy

At the same presentation, one of ‘our own’ also received an award –
Hannah Grocutt, the wife of Matt Grocutt who has done all of our design work for us over the years – shown in this photograph.

Hannah has worked at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske for over 13 years, where, in 2023 she graduated on the first cohort of radiography degree apprentices at the University of Exeter.

Hannah was awarded a Dean’s Commendation and the Department of Medical Imaging Prize for the highest marks above 70% in her final year.

Hannah also won the research award in January 2023 for her final year dissertation at the University of Exeter undergraduate research showcase, and her research was published in Radiography Journal in autumn 2023.

Hannah is continuing her studies to achieve an MSc as well as working as a sonographer at the RCHT. 

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