By Press Office 15 October 2021

As part of the Catalysts for Change project SEEDs, funded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, community nurses in Edinburgh and students at Queen Margaret University (QMU) were encouraged to share their stories of working through the pandemic for a new collection of writing recently launched at the 13th annual Portobello Book festival.

Four NHS Lothian community nurses; QMU community nursing students Debbie Buchannan, Barbara Mole and Kirstie Maclean, and Heather Lundy-Kelsall, alongside project leads Dr Kath MacDonald and Dr Caroline Dickson, lecturers in nursing at QMU, were among several local writers who were invited to put pen to paper for Pandemic Portobello, a unique collection of stories inspired by the response to the virus. 

The contributors were later invited to the festival's launch event on 1 October, where their work was read aloud by local actor Cal MacAninch as part of an intimate evening of words and music, celebrating local writing. 

Kath MacDonald, Honorary Lecturer in Nursing at QMU, said: "It was a real privilege to be part of this. The nurses' stories give a real insight into the complex situations they face daily, which were compounded during COVID-19." 

Caroline Dickson, Senior Lecturer in Nursing at QMU, added: "It was a fantastic opportunity for community nurses' voices to be heard. Thanks go to the Portobello Book Festival for reaching out to us, but also thanks to the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland for funding the original project."

Free copies of Pandemic Portobello are available from Portobello Library 

The QNIS Catalysts for Change programme is now open for applications. If you are a community nurse or midwife working in Scotland, and you think you could use up to £5,000 to address health inequalities, find out how to apply by visiting the QNIS website.

Notes to Editor

For further media enquiries about Queen Margaret University, please contact Gavin McNee (Media Relations and Content Officer), Edinburgh, E: gmcnee@qmu.ac.uk.

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