LSBU graduate Yemi Osho receives MBE for health and charity work

30 May 2023

London South Bank University (LSBU), graduate Yemi Osho received an MBE from King Charles III during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March. Yemi studied three times at LSBU; first an undergraduate diploma in Registered General Nursing, then a Master’s in Health Services Management and a Master’s-level course in Non-Medical Prescribing.

On her experience with LSBU, she said, “LSBU was a bedrock of my nursing and political career, and offers a broad range of knowledge and lifelong professional development for students. It is a university that has been providing education for over 125 years with a reputation for producing graduates who are ready to make a difference in their chosen fields. I have benefited hugely from being an LSBU student and I’m very proud to be a graduate”.

“LSBU prepared me for life-long learning and equipped me with problem-solving skills and the tools to be an effective leader and change agent, the resilience to challenge the status quo and the power to influence healthcare delivery and policies. I learnt the skills of advocacy, how to be a voice for patients and families and the need to be evidence-based and provide compassionate care.”

Yemi in protective gear

Over a career which spans four decades, Yemi started as a midwife in Nigeria, emigrating to England to study. Her studies led to a successful nursing career, championing nursing and advocating for quality health and social care, compassionate care and best outcomes for patients.

Yemi has also been an elected councillor in London and was Mayor of the borough of Waltham Forest in 2017.  The theme of her mayoral year was Hope, Courage and Service. During her tenure she:

  • Welcomed dignitaries from seven countries: Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, America, Pakistan, Algeria and Barbados, including some Royal Family members
  • Conducted citizenship ceremonies for over 1,000 residents in their final step of becoming a British citizen
  • Raised £25,000 for Diabetes UK and Whipps Cross Hospital through various fundraising initiatives, including a traditional 5-mile walk, that Mayors have been doing for 600 years
  • Took part in a New Year’s Day Parade as part of a successful bid for Waltham Forest to become the first Borough of Culture in London
  • Organised an event to mark a century since the First World War, at which she planted trees to honour young servicemen.

Yemi has been a visionary and problem-solving leader, mentor, and a role model both within the nursing profession and local government, leading on advancing nursing and quality patient care. As well as contributing widely to developing healthcare services, Yemi has nurtured and been instrumental in developing many talented nurses and shaped so many nursing leaders including black and minority ethnic nurses.

Yemi and the King

Yemi received the MBE for her contribution to the NHS and the community in the London borough of Waltham Forest, especially during the pandemic, through her charity, Diabetes Action CIC. Yemi and a team of dedicated volunteers provided food parcels and hot meals through a food bank to support those struggling with financial hardship during the pandemic.

On receiving the MBE, Yemi said, “As a nurse from the Commonwealth, receiving the Most Excellent Order of British Empire (MBE) Award during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was such a great honour and huge privilege. To then receive the award formally from His Royal Highness King Charles III during the ceremony at Buckingham Place in March 2023 was like an icing on the cake. I felt ecstatic, humbled and honoured.”

She also had this to say: “Despite the challenges faced as a black nurse fighting injustice and inherent racism, discrimination, and barriers to promotion for many BAME nurses in the NHS, I have, in fact, broken the glass ceiling against the backdrops of impossibility and barriers.”

To add to her success this year, Yemi has been awarded Freedom of the City of London, and her Admission Ceremony will be in October.