Students in Cumbria receive specialist training

By Julie Griffiths on 19 February 2018

Midwifery students at the University of Cumbria have received training provided by a charity set up to raise awareness of bereavement.

The charity funding the training is Abigail’s Footsteps, which was established in 2010 by David and Jo Ward from Kent following the stillbirth of their daughter.

The first cohort of students has undergone training delivered by an experienced team from Sands the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

The training covers areas such as sensitive communication, providing practical and emotional support to parents and helping parents to create memories of their babies.

Sands bereavement care trainer Fatima Bhula said: ‘It is fantastic that Sands is able to deliver invaluable bereavement care training to student midwives in Cumbria. Sadly 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK, so there are many bereaved parents and their families who will benefit from the skills and knowledge the students have acquired during their training.’

The University of Cumbria’s midwifery senior lecturer Julie Foster said she was delighted to be able to offer this training to their students.

As well as funding a training day at the Fusehill Street campus, the charity has also paid for student membership of the RCM to enable them to undertake training on the RCM’s i-Learn platform.

Abigail’s Footsteps founder David Ward said: ‘We’re delighted to support the university. We fully appreciate the support midwives need in training and hope this course will help provide an insight into the kind of care parents need.’

If the link with the University of Cumbria is a success, a similar scheme will be offered to other universities.