On September 12th 2013, trustees of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust (IMT) gathered with their guests at Bournemouth University (BU) to meet and congratulate the midwives and students who have gained awards from the charity this year.
Professor Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care at BU, welcomed all the guests to Bournemouth and its ‘seven miles of golden beaches’!
The occasion marked the last of the five Tricia Anderson awards given from 2009 to 2013 to commemorate Tricia’s life and work, before her untimely death in 2007. Therefore a special focus of the evening symposium was a tribute to Tricia from Dr Mary Stewart and some short presentations from the five winners.
The 2009 winner was Alison Taylor from BU, whose research into breastfeeding experiences included women filming their early days with a new baby. The audience was moved by Alison’s film clip of a mum who struggled for weeks to succeed and finally overcame her difficulties. A lighter approach was adopted by the 2010 winner, Jane Cross, with her fabric ‘babies’ which fasten to a maternity T-shirt with velcro, and can demonstrate the different positions a fetus may adopt. In 2011, Rachel Beckett set up the Birthbeats website at www.birthbeats.org – an online resource for parents-to-be and health professionals to promote the benefits of using music during labour and birth. Elaine Uppal from Salford University brought artworks created by her midwifery students following her 2012 award which funded materials and tuition. Finally, Sheila Brown from north Wales, this year’s winner, described the benefits of enabling 40 of her colleagues to attend an inspiring study day on normal birth by Denis Walsh.
Among the guests were members of Tricia’s family, who commented that the five awards had appropriately reflected Tricia’s principal interests – in normality, breastfeeding and use of the arts and music in midwifery.
Professor Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives, then took the stage to present the midwife and student winners with their certificates.
Four midwives received funding to assist their doctoral studies: Anne Marie Rennie, lecturer and PhD student at Robert Gordon University; Alison Callwood, tutor and PhD student at the University of Surrey; Mary Longworth, lecturer at Bangor University – for her PhD at Manchester University; and Claire Homeyard, consultant midwife at Barking, Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust, undertaking a professional doctorate at King’s College London (KCL).
In addition, Sau Min Chang, labour ward midwife at King’s College Hospital, London, used her award to attend the ‘Prescribing for Nurses & Midwives’ course at KCL and Mariamni Plested, independent midwife in Colchester, Essex used hers to take a course in qualitative research methods at the University of Oxford.
Nine student winners – Grace Stanford, Lisa Hemming, Cecilia Leslie, Janice Cull, Laura Davis, Victoria Deaville, Sophie Robertson, Clare O’Brien and Sean Hill had used the financial help to travel respectively to Rwanda, Uganda, Brazil, Canada (Janice and Laura), Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nepal and Sweden. Joy Caldwell’s award went to fund her masters degree course, Claire Omand used hers to book her place at the RCM Students Conference and Alexandra Filby went to Geneva to put the World Health Organization on the right track about intrapartum guidelines!
Next, Lesley Page and Professor Billie Hunter launched the new
Professor Vanora Hundley, IMT trustee and professor at BU, rounded up the evening by demonstrating the charity’s new website and introducing a short inspirational film about the Trust made by another trustee, Sheena Byrom OBE.