(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon. It is such a great pleasure to be here in this spectacularly beautiful part of northern Germany. As you may know, I was born in Heidelberg, and of course this country holds a very special place in my heart.
This is a very joyous occasion, on which we all get the chance to celebrate this year’s German scholar of the Queen Silvia Nursing Award. Since the foundation of the scholarship five years ago, the ambition has been to spread the reach of the initiative to other countries than Sweden. Germany is the most recent country to join the Queen Silvia Nursing Award family and it is a great pleasure to be here to commemorate this.
To me, the ambition of internationalizing this project has been very important. Not only does it allow for even more fantastic ideas for the improved care of the elderly and those living with dementia; it also serves as a basis for collaboration between nations and, more importantly, nursing students in different parts of the world.
Since the founding of the scholarship, we have received over four thousand new ideas for the improved care of the elderly and those living with dementia.
Imagine that: four thousand unique ideas from hundreds of aspiring nurses in four different countries. What an astonishing feat!
This year we have awarded the German scholarship to Ms. Annette Löser, for her wonderful idea of creating a new system for handling of waste material in the care process. Such an elegant solution to what may seem like a small problem. However, when implemented, this will be a time saving tool for nurses and care providers, freeing up time for the valuable interaction and hands on care of the elderly.
Ms. Löser is currently in the first year of her nursing studies at the Medicampus in Chemnitz. But it was when she worked as a nursing assistant that she identified the problem for which she now has come up with a solution.
What I find remarkable about this year’s recipient of the award is that, although she already had a formal education in hospitality, she decided that she wanted to become a nurse instead, with the expressed desired to work with and care for the elderly. She is clearly a worthy recipient of this award.
I would be remiss not to also mention last year’s scholar, the first ever scholar of Queen Silvia Nursing Award in Germany, Ms. Berit Ehmann, who received the award for her well-developed concept of a more intricate and functional alarm system for care settings. Congratulations to you both.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts, the St. Anna Stift and the Förderverein Anna Wassenberg, who not only run this fantastic nursing home and connected day care centres as well as home care services in the local area, but who also are our German partner within the Queen Silvia Nursing Award project.
Together with Swedish Care International, they have made it possible for German nursing students to apply for and receive the scholarship here in Germany, for which I greatly thank you.
A special thank you to Mr.Ulrich Zerhusen and his dedicated team here at St. Anna Stift for making this possible and of course also to all the local partners that help support the scholarship in Germany.
There is a beautiful quote – from whom I sadly don’t know – that I would like to share with you: ” When you are a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life, or a life will touch yours.”
Indeed, in health care systems all across the globe, nurses are the everyday heroes; heroes that may not have superpowers, but most certainly the power to make real difference in the lives of others.
Once again, to our scholar, congratulations on your great achievement and thank you for choosing to dedicate your life to those who need you the most.
I look forward to the rest of the visit here and wish you all a lovely afternoon.