London midwife wins prestigious award after ‘global success’ of study aids
A student midwife, working at London South Bank University has won the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) prestigious Student Midwife Travel award, for producing a series of animated posters to help her peers study. Rachel Brackpool, who is neurodiverse, began producing the animations during her first year at university when she realised she needed to find more effective ways of learning.
The animations have had global success. She initially just shared them with her classmates. But, after seeing how helpful the animations were, Rachel began making these available to other health care students online and worldwide. To date she has sold over 4000 animated drawings. The animations range from topics such as anatomy and physiology, to the mechanisms and physiology of labour and many more subjects. Her work is used by both students and teachers alike.
At the award ceremony in London on 19 May, commenting on Rachels’ innovation the RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton said: “Rachel has all the personal and professional qualities which are befitting of a midwife: talent, dedication and the willing ness to go the extra mile to help others. Her animations have become a global success and used by thousands across the world to help them qualify as midwives. Her journey to become a midwife is a fantastic example of the phrase ‘if at first you don’t succeed’. Rachel applied to study midwifery twice. Taking on board the feedback, she pursued her dream by gaining more life experience and eventually won a place at her first choice university. From there she has never looked back and is now using her experience to help others succeed. Huge congratulations Rachel.”
Commenting on the award, Professor Louise Barriball, Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the university, said: “Rachel is a fantastic example to other students across LSBU and midwifery and has gone out of her way to enhance other’s university experience. Having a community where students can discuss the problems they’re facing and work together to overcome these is incredibly important, particularly when placements, workloads or everyday life can sometimes seem overwhelming.”
On being presented with her award Rachel discussed her work, saying: “I remember thinking, I’m not the only one that’s going to be struggling like this and the way lectures are done isn’t going to work for everyone. So by breaking it down, making it really visual, it got me through university. And now it’s helping all healthcare professionals and it’s gone global and I never thought I’d be able to do that.”