Wed 27 Jul 22
Award-winning chief executive of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust Jane Gurney has received an honorary degree from the University of Essex for her leadership of the charity since 2003 and her contribution to the wider charity sector.
Jane received her honorary degree alongside graduates from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Department of Psychology School of Health and Social Care, and School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences.
Orator Professor Vicky Joffe, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, told those attending: “Jane is an exemplar of strong and skilled leadership, and since her time with the charity it has grown from strength to strength.
“We see this graduation ceremony today as a perfect opportunity to honour an exceptional leader who makes a huge contribution to the local community. And I hope that, as a role model, Jane serves to inspire many here today, by showing how it’s possible, through helping others, to change people’s lives for the better.”
Jane said: “Leading such a high-risk organisation that includes a highly regulated aviation operation, specialised critical care, leading a diverse team, overseeing complex governance, risk management, and raising millions of pounds to do it all is really challenging but a true honour. It gives me the chance to make that difference to our communities. I have been very fortunate throughout my life and career to have met and worked with such amazing and inspiring people to help make all this happen….to make that difference!”
She told graduates: “No matter what path you choose in life, surround yourself with like-minded people, those that share the same interests, passions and values.”
She added: “When I started out I didn’t consider the charitable sector, but I can tell you that today the sector really needs inspiring people like you where your skills can be of huge benefit. We need talented, motivated and driven individuals who absolutely want to make a difference to the world we all live in.”