RCM branch voice: the biggest losers

By Séana Kerr on 23 November 2018 Midwives Magazine RCM Branches

Members of the RCM Southern branch in Northern Ireland came together to get themselves fitter and healthier, losing an amazing amount of weight as a result, as Séana Kerr explains how.

As a workplace representative (WPR) there is an inherent pressure to come up with ideas for events and projects that appeal to all staff. In the lead up to International Day of the Midwife, myself and other WPRs were trying to come up with something that would involve the members on the ground and raise much-needed funds in the process.

The plan

The initial suggestion was a health project to have staff sign up to weigh-ins with the added bonus of getting fit in the process. Two ‘champions’ – Rebecca Mackin and Aine Fegan – were approached with the idea, as they are members on the front line in our area and are seen as influential people who would be invaluable to such a project. Rebecca had also totally transformed herself through boot camp and Aine, a champion runner, had already been putting some members of staff through their paces pounding the roads. After discussions with Rebecca and Aine, the initial proposal was tweaked and improved upon. It was also decided that we would divide any monies raised between two worthy local charities, the branch and the prize fund.

And so the ‘biggest loser’ was born – the plan was that people would join up, pay up and weigh up! There was much excitement around the initial weigh-ins – all those who engaged were committing to six weeks of getting themselves healthier and fitter with the help of the team around them.

Involving everyone

We had people from all sections of our maternity unit at Daisy Hill Hospital, from MSWs and midwives to special care nurses and lead midwives. Within all those who signed up – 54 in total – we discovered that we had burlesque queens, champion dancers, boot-camp experts, gym bunnies, runners, walkers, yoga lovers and healthy eating gurus. Many of us also knew people who were willing to provide their services for free, once they knew our story.

The camaraderie was a sight to behold, with everyone supporting and encouraging each other. It also spilled over into the work environment with people sharing recipes, bringing in healthy treats for their colleagues and generally keeping tabs on one another. Everyone had been given water bottles when they signed up and these were seen everywhere – some even spotted ‘on tour’ in pictures with ‘losers’ on their holidays.

Technology and social media played a huge part also, as we created a WhatsApp group and a Facebook page to keep everyone up to date. Upcoming events were posted and updated regularly so that everyone had a chance to go to something on their days off.

All in all, it was an amazing and challenging experience for everyone involved. The total weight loss was over 26 stone, with a grand total of £1375 being raised! We can definitely say that the biggest loser project was most certainly a winner all round.

Séana Kerr is an RCM WPR and a midwife at Daisy Hill Hospital