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Education fund for minority ethnic nurses and midwives launched

In memory of Olufunke Adeyeye

The RCN Foundation is pleased to announce a new programme of education grants to support ethnic minority nursing and midwifery staff in developing their training and skills.

The RCN Foundation Olufunke Adeyeye education grant has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the family of Olufunke Adeyeye, a life-long nurse and midwife, who died in 2020.

Her three adult children Oluwakemi, Olubusola and Ibukunoluwa decided to celebrate her life and career by establishing a grant to support nursing staff facing similar challenges to the ones their mother did while she was alive.

Their donation of £20,000 establishes the RCN Foundation Olufunke Adeyeye education grant, a fund dedicated to providing further education and training opportunities to nursing and midwifery staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The RCN Foundation Olufunke Adeyeye education grant will run over two years. The first round opens for applications on 21 June 2022. Learn more and apply.

A nurse’s story

Olufunke Adeyeye had a career spanning over 50 years in all areas of nursing including ophthalmology, midwifery, general and community nursing.

Olufunke Adeyeye


Her family say "she was a single parent who believed that anyone fortunate enough to have a good education and career can dare to aspire and over-achieve, despite life’s challenges." She particularly considered it a blessing that nursing enabled her and her children to achieve their aspirations.

Olufunke made many lifelong friends through her profession, and many testify to how she was a good friend, colleague and mentor to other nurses and health care assistants.

Her children describe her career as "a shining example of the support and dedication that nurses demonstrate everyday, not just to their patients, but also to each other.

"In her character she was a true nurse – she would never ignore an opportunity to care for and support anyone in need."

Her children are therefore establishing this fund in her memory, to give nurses from ethnic minority backgrounds increased opportunities to develop and advance their careers and, in turn, have a positive impact on patient care.

Deepa Korea, Director of the RCN Foundation, said: "We are most grateful to the Adeyeye family for their generous support in establishing the RCN Foundation Olufunke Adeyeye education grant. We are so very pleased to be able to help them honour the memory of Olufunke in this way.

"This grant will be a legacy to her commitment and dedication to nursing and midwifery, providing opportunities for staff to develop their skills and, in so doing, improve the care they deliver to their patients."