2021 Student Midwife Forum elections - Candidates
Voting is now open for the election of your SMF
Voting will commence on Thursday 11 November and close at midnight on Tuesday 30 November.
The results will be verified, and the newly elected members will be informed by email by Friday 10 December.
The following seats are available for election:
- 1 in England – South
- 1 in England – North
- 1 in Wales
Please read the manifestos provided before you vote:
SMF candidates - Wales
Candidate manifesto address:
Hello, my name is Lucy Richards, I am currently a second-year midwifery student at the University of South Wales, and I am applying to gain a seat on the Student Midwife Forum. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for myself, but I strong believe my passion for Midwifery and skills and knowledge I possess would make me a significant asset to the team.
Implementing change is one of the key aspects of the profession and at the heart and responsible for the development for the future of midwifery are student midwives. Therefore, it would be a privilege to be a voice and an advocate for the students of Wales.
Prior to pursuing a career as a midwife, I have worked as numerous roles within the health care setting. What has always remained the same is the importance of teamwork. Nothing has strengthened this more than in recent years whilst being a student during a global pandemic. This is what has inspired me to be dedicated to the provision of support for my fellow students.
My experience in working in health care has not only made me a strong communicator but it has also made me transparent and very self-aware of other people's feelings and beliefs. As an individual who is very passionate about self-development, I am also very open to new ideas on how to tackle challenges and implementing necessary change. This would enable me to be fair and professional if elected.
Being a part of the Student Midwifery Forum and representing the students of Wales is a privilege, I am proud to be a student midwife and believe my professionalism and passion will enable me to be a strong advocate for student midwives in Wales. I would use the platform to introduce new ideas and highlight threats and challenges.
Growing up in Wales has made me aware of challenges my local communities have been facing especially how families, students and midwives have been affected by the pandemic. I believe this would benefit me in my role in voicing relevant local issues when representing Wales.
A priority very close to my heart is equality. If elected, my main aims would be to advocate for equal opportunities. Especially for the LGBTQ+ and BAME students. This would include taking feedback off students and using my position to ensure their voice is heard and providing a safe learning environment where students can feel comfortable on campus and providing a hub, they can contact at any time for counselling and support.
I am dedicated to undertaking and completing all the work that is expected of me. I am also committed to attending all meetings and conferences and voicing your concerns and ideas are of great importance to me!
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto.
Don’t forget to vote, student midwives are the future, let's make sure that future is bright!
Candidate’s election address:
My name is Rhiannon and I am a 2nd year student Midwife with the University of South Wales. Midwifery has been a passion of mine since my journey to motherhood began. Since then I have done an access course, a hnd in maternity care and also worked as a refocusing nurse in the NHS in mental health services. My experiences of being a student in different establishments plus my NHS service experience I believe will make me a good candidate for student rcm rep. In terms of midwifery I can’t choose an area I love the most because I love it all. However I can strongly say having relationships with women and advocating for them throughout their journey ignites a fire in me that continues to fuel and feed my passion. I am passionate about mental health whether this relates to pregnant women , midwives and students and believe now is the time more than ever to focus on this and look at ways to bring women together who are impacted by mental health. I am a follower of Welsh politics and it is an area i am passionate about . I want to use this passion to ensure the Welsh government begin to fund our maternity services properly, listen to women , listen to the staff and support students to ensure better outcomes for all above are possible. I am never afraid of using my voice to advocate and fight for what is right and that is why I am also student rep for my cohort. When it comes to ensuring women are treated fairly I am always there fighting their corner. I am a neurodiverse student who has felt the burden and the worry of my needs most days in my life and this makes me determined to improve student and employee experiences for those with disabilities. I want to prevent the feelings of isolation, confusion and not feeling like you are good enough. To do this big changes need to be made and I am willing to challenge this . As a student in the pandemic I feel I have experienced both sadness and joy in very different levels. I want to use these experiences to help support students and build on their resilience . I want to make big changes in the future of midwifery because I have waited my whole adult life to do this . I can and will commit to every meeting possible to ensure students are supported and know I am here. With my listening ear , my shoulder to cry on and my safe space to unload their worries . Furthermore I pledge to continue to fight against student poverty and the impact student funding has on universal credit . Meaning some students sometimes have no money to eat. This is the top of my list of things to challenge . That is because I am an advocate and promise to fight for every student midwife, midwife and women for as long as I can.
SMF candidates - England South
Candidate manifesto address:
Over the past decade I have welcomed three children into this world, and in doing so have interacted with many facets of midwifery services available to expectant mothers. This sparked a passion; to help facilitate the best outcomes possible for individuals accessing these services.
As a first-year student midwife at Canterbury Christ Church University, I am eager to start advocating not only for the families I will have the pleasure of supporting during placements, but also for my fellow student midwives. That’s why I’m standing to represent you as a Member of the Student Midwife Forum.
- I will stand up and speak on the issues that matter to you
Every generation of midwives faces different challenges. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will always represent our profession – I will work hard to make sure student midwife voices are heard within it. I will listen to you and make sure the issues you care about are raised.
- I will support the RCM, because a strong RCM is good for us all
Staffing crisis and poor pay are both issues at the front of my mind as I write this. The RCM’s all-members survey showed how our profession is at breaking point. We as student midwives need to be a part of the debates and stand together with our fellow colleagues to help facilitate change. I will support RCM campaigns to benefit us all.
- I will advocate for every student midwife – whatever your background or situation
Every student midwife has a different journey. I know that mine won’t necessarily be the same as yours. I will advocate for every student midwife, and promise to raise other voices to the forefront so that everybody feels properly represented.
Here’s why I think I’d make a good Member. I am a confident public speaker and have always taken an active role in the communities I’m part of. I’ve been a treasurer for my local pre-school and the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society. I’ve helped organise a local toddler group, and I am an active member of the PTA at my local school. I also have a decade of breastfeeding peer support experience, where I learned how to advocate for families’ needs while working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Thank you for reading my manifesto. It would be an honour to represent you.
Candidate manifesto address:
The word ‘transformation’ truly sums up my experience so far as a student midwife and I feel strongly about bringing positive transformation to my fellow student midwives, the much needed midwives of tomorrow.
I’m Ellie and I’m a second-year student at Anglia Ruskin University. I couldn’t be prouder to train in this remarkable career however, the times we are training in are unique, turbulent and testing. Now more than ever, student midwives are in need of support and advocacy to become the best midwives we can be and if I were to be that voice, I would ensure students from all backgrounds are heard.
During my time as a student, I have been diagnosed with ADHD. This doesn’t come without challenges however; I have learnt to love the unique gifts that come with my condition. As a society, our understanding and awareness of mental health is growing and so is the neurodivergent community. I feel strongly about ensuring everyone has the support they need to utilise their strengths, as well as overcoming any challenges and I would love to be an advocate for this.
I am also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Sadly, there are still challenges and discrimination faced by our community today and I feel passionately about stepping into a future where these issues will be something of the past. If I were to become a member of the RCM Student Midwives forum, I would listen to and voice the concerns of all marginalised communities to create positive change.
There is currently a movement seeking to raise awareness of the working conditions midwives face due to short staffing and underfunding. I know this is a great concern of myself and my fellow students as we step into our newly qualified status in a few short years or less. Creating more opportunities for student midwives to participate in this movement and to campaign for a better future in ways that will be impactful is something I would strive for if I were elected.
Communication is a strength that I am proud of. I believe this skill goes hand in hand with empathy, being unprejudiced and creativity in order to find ways to represent the whole community of student midwives. I would always make time to be a listening ear to any students that have concerns they would like to raise or changes they would like to see happening.
I have experience advocating for young parents while volunteering for The Lullaby Trust. My ability to speak up for informed choice led to safe co-sleeping guidelines being created. This is where I realised the impact that one voice can make and I hope to bring this forward to the RCM Student Midwives Forum.
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto, I know the vision I share for this future generation of midwives is shared by many and I believe can help to make this a reality if I were elected.
SMF candidates - England North
Candidate manifesto address:
My name is Alisha, a third-year student midwife at the University of Leeds and I would like to be the next SMF representative for the North of England. I have always admired Midwives and seeing black Midwives brings me great joy. However, this joy is short lasting as there is currently a minority of midwifery professionals who look like me, and I want to change that. Undertaking my midwifery degree has tested me beyond limits and has challenged everything good I ever thought about myself. There have been many times I wanted to give up, but I continued, because it’s about resilience and the fact that I am part of a bigger picture. As a young black woman coming into this profession, I can honestly say that giving up is not an option because of the weight that a degree let alone this profession holds in my family and community.
From a young age I have always wanted to work in a healthcare profession and make a difference. I considered becoming a vet and then graduated to the thought of becoming a nurse which stuck for a while; until I encountered a midwife. This was not just any midwife but the midwife who cared for my mother when I was born. I remember being in the town centre with my mum and meeting her. She stood above me with a warm smile, and a look of wonder in her eyes. To give you some perspective why she looked at me like that, I was born ten weeks early, on a day when life should have been welcomed, two lives were almost lost. Until this day over twenty-four years later my mother still gushes and praises the care she received from this woman, and it was in those moments I knew I wanted to be like her and make an impact on people’s lives the way she has impacted mine and my mums.
I wish to have a seat in this group to be an example and representative of other black and ethnic student midwives around the UK who battle daily with the thoughts and fears of whether they are ‘good enough’ or whether this career is for them due to the lack of diversity within the profession. I want to make a difference and be a voice to a group of people whose voices are rarely heard due to the fear of what other people may think because of the misconceptions and pre-conceived judgements that society has made about us. I want to help usher in a new generation of midwives who reflect their communities and cultures and are not afraid to challenge a system that perpetuates a negative narrative onto black and ethnic woman and birthing people. For me, midwifery is not a profession it’s a vocation, a calling by God, it is a part of my purpose and I believe that purpose can start to manifest here, with a seat on the SMF group.
Candidate manifesto address:
'#Hello, my name is' Leah. I am a first-year student midwife and student ambassador at the University of Central Lancashire up in the North. My passion for Midwifery began in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic after reading Leah Hazard's book 'Hard Pushed; A Midwives Story.' Her stories captivated me (as well as shocked and made me laugh!) However, the tales of midwives working against a broken system whilst trying to provide a gold standard of care makes me determined to be a part of the change midwifery desperately needs. If were to be elected to join the Student Midwife Forum, I would ensure to engage in debate and discussion around this topic.
Midwifery is simply the most amazing job. It is the most challenging, exciting, and diverse role. As students, we live and breathe midwifery. Therefore, it is important we not only advocate and support each person that comes into our care but our fellow student midwives.
I believe I would be suitable for a role on the Student Midwife Forum; I have previously been elected as a course representative during my certificate of higher education in health and social care. In this role, I was lucky enough to represent my cohort. Throughout the duration of the year, I gathered student perspectives and advocated for them during termly meetings. As well as being proactive in providing more urgent feedback to course leads. I understand how difficult it can be to provide negative feedback around sensitive
topics. I always made sure to approach these with care and consideration. To provide constructive criticism it is important to communicate positive feedback as well as the negative in order to see real improvement to student experiences. I loved this role and I see many parallels between course representative and representing students nationally as a part of the Student Midwife Forum. It is an opportunity I am passionate to fulfil.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone reading this that it is okay to feel burnt out. We are humans, not robots. Take time to reflect, relax and enjoy. Remember your support network and most importantly to look after yourselves.
Thank you for taking the time to read my manifesto. Please remember to vote, use your voice!
Candidate manifesto address:
A few years ago, I attended an open day where a woman stood up in front of a lecture hall and said, ‘I am like a stick of rock, if you cut me in two, you will find the word midwife written it is what and who I am.’ I felt like somebody had lit a fire in me. This is what and who I was and what I was determined to become. Hello, my name is Emily, a midwifery student at Sheffield Hallam University. My journey to this point has been a topsy turvy one from realising I, too, was a midwifery stick of rock.
Since I decided I wanted to be a midwife, I have had a few jobs and volunteering roles that have led me to be here. I worked for a year in communications for the NHS, and I was at this job during the first lockdown of the pandemic. Every day I would share stories of communities and individuals who were overcoming obstacles to get over the virus and through the struggles of the lockdown. At this job, I realised Brene Brown was right ‘everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And if we’re paying attention, most people will have a story that will bring us to our knees.’ As an SMF member, I want to share the stories of students and advocate for change that the stories show us needs to happen. We all have something to say, something to contribute. I believe the communications skills I have can help these contributions to be heard.
In addition to my communications job, I have been a listening volunteer at the Samaritans for the last few years. Here I have learnt essential listening skills and listened to the challenges people have gone through. During my time here, I have gained a strong interest in mental health and how we all need to look after our mental health, it is something we all have. It can be seen everywhere on social media and in the news how much midwives and midwifery are struggling. As an SMF member, I would like to make sure every student knows how to look after their mental health and has the skills to avoid burnout before we all receive our registrations and enter the world working as qualified midwives. In addition to being trained how to be a midwife, we need to be trained how to look after ourselves and each other and face the challenges our career will present to us.
I believe my listening skills and time volunteering in mental health services can help make this a priority for student midwives. Everyone who chooses to become a midwife is a brave, caring, courageous individual, and I would love to help advocate for each of them now through their training and beyond. We are the future of midwifery lets start making change happen together now. Thank you for your time.
Once you have read through the manifestos for each Country/Region please vote for the student midwife which you wish to see elected on to the Student Midwife Forum.
Candidates are listed by region. Please navigate to to each region in order to process your vote