Students deliver University’s first Midwifery Society

Posted on 11th February 2015

A leading figure from the field of midwifery has officially launched the University of Chester’s first ever Midwifery Society.

Left to right: Rachel Jones, Lindsey Hughes, Professor Cathy Warwick and Sammy Edwards.
Left to right: Rachel Jones, Lindsey Hughes, Professor Cathy Warwick and Sammy Edwards.

Established by three dedicated students, the Society was set up in record time and its first meeting was attended by Professor Cathy Warwick, CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives. The three student co-founders, Lindsey Hughes, Sammy Edwards and Rachel Jones were joined by three members of staff from the Faculty of Health and Social Care - Professor Annette McIntosh-Scott, Executive Dean; Kim Gibbon, Head of Department, Midwifery, Child and Reproductive Health and Taniya Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, Child and Reproductive Health.

Professor Warwick gave an inspirational and motivational speech on the theme of courage and compassion in midwifery practice, which was well received by the audience of 50 midwifery students, the entire midwifery lecturing team and practising midwives from the region.

The presentations from Lindsey, 25 from Buckley, Flintshire, second year student midwife; Sammy, 30, from Meifod, Powys, second year student midwife and Rachel, 33, from Salford, first year student midwife, detailed the aims and objectives of the Society, which are: ‘to organise study days, where inspirational experts in midwifery practice will share their knowledge and expertise; to set up student support networks in the form of a ‘buddying system’ and group revision sessions; to make new friends; and to unite all three cohorts of midwifery students to share experiences, knowledge and skills’.

Sammy said: "We are truly overwhelmed with the support we have received from the students, lecturers and staff at the University."

Lindsey, added: "The launch of the Society gave us all a great sense of achievement and we are extremely excited about organising and running future events."

Professor McIntosh-Scott thanked and congratulated the students on their achievement. She said: “The creation and launch of this Society is an impressive feat, and we’re all enormously proud of Lindsey, Sammy and Rachel. They’ve worked hard, in partnership with Chester Students’ Union, to develop this excellent resource for all midwifery students. I’d like to wish the Society much success – its work will be fully supported by the Faculty.”

Kim Gibbon, Head of Midwifery, Child and Reproductive Health, told the audience: “We are always proud of all our students’ achievements as they progress through their midwifery training programme, and also take seriously the positive effects of students having a good experience both here at Chester and in practice. This is a difficult and demanding programme, and yet many students delight us by going above and beyond what is expected, using their creativity and innovation to develop projects that benefit women and their families and other students alike.

“This is a student-led initiative for student midwives from the University of Chester. Its purposes will be: supporting students in acquiring the discipline, commitment and time management skills needed for lifelong learning and continuous professional development; providing useful and current evidence-based content to support their studies and development in the future; channelling their early career enthusiasm; and providing the opportunity to build mutual support systems. These objectives will be partly met by conferences and study days, either those organised by the Society or external events where it has arranged attendance.”

Senior Midwifery Lecturer Taniya Roberts, who was appointed to offer arms-length support to Lindsey, Sammy and Rachel, said: “The founders have gone from zero to Midwifery Society in just eight weeks.”

The context of this achievement was detailed in her presentation at the opening event, when Taniya added: “This student-led initiative to create a midwifery student identity at the University of Chester has really demonstrated the students’ drive and determination for this Midwifery Society to succeed.”

Rachel said: “We aim to launch our first event this Spring. We are dedicated to providing relevant, beneficial, current and enjoyable study days that all three current cohorts can attend, as well as qualified midwives and aspiring midwives.”