University team sharing award-winning ways of supporting mums-to-be

on 22 March 2019 Wales

Swansea University’s Midwifery and Parenting Centre has proved so successful, the team behind it are set to share their experiences with colleagues across Wales.

The Centre, at the University’s Health and Wellbeing Academy, offers free antenatal and postnatal care and support delivered by student midwives. Now its work has helped earn Dr Sarah Norris, Swansea University’s Head of Midwifery Education and Lead Midwife for Education, a top national honour.

Sarah, who leads the team of midwifery education colleagues which launched the centre, has just received the Excellence in Midwifery Education Award sponsored by JOHNSON’S® at this year’s Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards.

The award, presented by TV presenter Alex Jones at a London ceremony, recognises Sarah’s continued enthusiasm and practical support for the next generation of midwives.

The Centre not only offers students learning opportunities but is also a place where women can receive care and support in the community before and after their pregnancy.

Student midwives supervised by Sarah and her colleagues  offer antenatal and postnatal support including initiatives such as breastfeeding support groups, hypnobirthing techniques and post natal support groups to mothers and families in the surrounding area. The Academy also has a birth trauma resolution clinic to support women.

Sarah said: “I am thrilled and very proud to have won this award but it really is the result of a great team effort. Credit for the success of the Centre belongs to everyone involved in this project.”

Ana Peachey is one of the students who has benefited and described Sarah’s award as very well deserved.

She said: “The Health and Wellbeing Academy is such an amazing facility and an attractive part of studying at Swansea University.

“We’re so lucky that we have the opportunity to take part in antenatal classes, breastfeeding groups and hypnobirthing classes and we learn so much in doing so  - from both the lecturers and the women who attend.”

Sarah has also been congratulated by Health Education and Improvement Wales, the body which has a leading role in the education, training and development of the Welsh healthcare workforce.

Its Director of Nursing Stephen Griffiths said: “It is wonderful to see the high quality work of healthcare educators in Wales recognised on a national basis. It’s the passion and commitment shown by Sarah and her colleagues to educating future generations of midwives that makes Wales a truly great place to train and work.”

Sarah said she is now eager to build on that success:  “We want to share our experiences with our midwifery colleagues across Wales. We would love to be able to encourage them to start projects offering the same kind of support in their communities too.”

Rebecca Bennett, from award sponsor JOHNSON’S®, said: “We are always delighted to support the education of tomorrow’s midwives and this submission offered a fantastic opportunity for students both to work with mentors and to extend their learning in a structured and relevant way.  The results on recruitment and retention speak for themselves and Sarah is a very worthy winner.”

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, added: “This is a great example of innovative midwifery education in action. Importantly it not only brings benefits for the students and lecturers, but also the women and their families. The project was also done in partnership with other sections of the health community making it also a great example of collaboration.”

For more information on the RCM Annual Awards visit


Note to editors

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) was established on 1st October 2018. It is a special health authority within NHS Wales created by bringing together three key organisations for health - the Wales Deanery, NHS Wales’ Workforce Education and Development Services (WEDS), and the Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education (WCPPE).     

Sitting alongside health boards and trusts, HEIW has a leading role in the education, training, development and shaping of the healthcare workforce in Wales. Its key functions include education and training, workforce development and modernisation, leadership development, strategic workforce planning, workforce intelligence, careers, and widening access.     Further information can be found at  

When reporting this story, please use Swansea University hyperlinks. Swansea University is a world-class, research-led, dual campus university offering a first class student experience and has one of the best employability rates of graduates in the UK.

Swansea is ranked 30th in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. As well as achieving its UK top 30 position, Swansea was named runner-up for the overall University of the Year Title in the Good University Guide, and was also crowned Welsh University of the Year for the second time in three years.

Swansea University is a registered charity. No.1138342. Visit

JOHNSON’S®, an Alliance Partner with the RCM since 2004 is proud to work with the RCM, supporting midwives in their work to care for mothers and babies.  JOHNSON’S® partnership with the RCM is highly valued and we are pleased to be able to sponsor these awards celebrating the hard work and dedication of midwives. For more information about JOHNSON’S®, visit the RCM website at

 The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at