UCW graduate shortlisted for prestigious professional prize

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A UCW graduate has narrowly missed out on a national industry award after being shortlisted as a finalist at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Excellence Awards.

Dave Lea, who graduated from the BSc (Hons) Public and Environmental Health (top-up) course at UCW in 2016 and now works in the public health team at Plymouth City Council, made it to the final three in the category of Rising Environmental Health Star.

He was nominated by UCW lecturer David Lown after implementing a number of successful environmental health projects.

These included one which saw 96 per cent of participating businesses in Plymouth increase their food hygiene ratings after Dave worked with them to explain regulations and share best practices.

His nomination also recognised his research work with the Council, which culminated in his dissertation focusing on the risk posed by allergens for people eating out in Plymouth.

Dave said: “I have had nothing but encouragement and support from my lecturer David Lown.

“He encouraged me to present to a Chartered Institute of Environmental Health conference held at UCW, and I was then surprised to learn that my food safety work was submitted for this award.

“To be shortlisted as a finalist was a great honour, and a surprise considering the standard of the other nominees.”

Dave attended the awards ceremony on London’s Southbank but was pipped to the post by Jiani Ma of the University of Birmingham, who implemented a project to improve the health of Chinese schoolchildren.

David Lown said: “Dave excelled at UCW after joining us from Truro College, so I’m delighted that his great work has been recognised with him being a shortlisted finalist for such an important award.

“The environmental health courses at UCW are all worked-based, so it’s great that Dave has been able to implement his studies in the workplace and make a real difference to improving public health in Plymouth.”

The Foundation Degree and Honours Top-up in Public and Environmental Health and Integrated Master’s Degree in Environmental Health and Practice at UCW are delivered in partnership with UWE Bristol.