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Celebrating memory of nurse who inspired hundreds of students

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Published on 03 June 2020

Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, Michelle Sheridan, Julie Tekin and Nicholas Glean, Senior Lecturer in Video and New Media
Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, Michelle Sheridan, Julie Tekin and Nicholas Glean, Senior Lecturer in Video and New Media

Julie Tekin, a Senior Forensic Nurse for Northumbria Police and its SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre), sadly lost her battle with cancer last month, aged just 60.

Julie had been instrumental in supporting the University project which offered both drama and media production students to work on a live client brief, enabling them to gain practical experience and important skills to promote employability. The project, part-funded by the Police and Crime Commissioners Community Fund, has been running for the past seven years and more than 500 students have taken part in the production of 23 films on a variety of challenging subjects including  male rape, modern-day slavery, the capacity to consent, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, and cyber-crime.

Uniquely, the films have been used to raise awareness among children, health professionals, the police and other university students - making a significant contribution to the lives of victims and helping with awareness raising and subsequent prevention. The project has received widespread acclaim, from the media industry, from forensics experts and those dealing with the victims of crime.

Julie, from Wallsend, worked closely with students over the years, providing both support and guidance, steering them on the correct path to create films with impact.

Such was her impact with the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, that earlier this year SARC manager Michelle Sheridan, who initiated this work with the University’s Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, stepped on stage alongside Sunderland academics to collect the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) on behalf of the full team, as Julie was unable to attend.

The awards, hosted by the Higher Education Academy, recognise learning collaborations that capture creative, innovative practice and benefit the student experience.

Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, Lecturer in Performing Arts and Programme Leader for Screen Performance, said: “Julie was an absolute asset on the TV Drama projects. Her knowledge and expertise were continuously valuable for both student and staff alike. Moreover Julie was a very good friend, she was kind, passionate and very funny, and it is heart-breaking that she is no longer with us.”

In her role as a Forensic Nurse, Julie worked at the Northumbria Police SARC based in Newcastle as part of a multidisciplinary team, including counsellors and independent sexual violence advisors (ISVA). The team provides forensic medical examinations, for both women and men aged over 16 years, who have been the victim of sexual violence as well as counselling services.

She had been a qualified nurse for many years with a varied career.  She started working on a gynaecological ward after qualifying, then moved to London to undertake a course in burns and plastic surgery nursing.

She stayed in London following the course working on a regional burns unit. Julie then moved back to Newcastle six years later and remained ever since. Her career included working in a regional neuro-trauma unit for many years.

Following the birth of her first child, she pursued a career in community nursing and remained as a district nursing sister until 2010. She was then seconded to the palliative care team as a Macmillan clinical nurse specialist until 2013, before moving into forensic nursing.

Julie’s funeral was held last month with close family at Tynemouth Crematorium.  There are plans to celebrate Julie's life once the restrictions around Coronavirus are lifted.

There are no flowers, but donations are being asked to go to the Complementary Therapies Freeman Road Hospital Cancer Care Unit: http://www.newcastle-hospitals.org.uk/services/cancer_services_complementary-therapy.aspx

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