About The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust

Iolanthe was a sparking Gilbert and Sullivan opera (the same composers of the Pirates of Penzance and the Mikado). When it opened at the Savoy Theatre in 1882 the opera stunned audiences with its special effects; this being the first theatre in the world to have electricity. Perhaps this is why W S Gilbert chose the name for his house in London, which was later to become the home of the Central Midwives Board,  the organisation responsible for the practice and education of midwives, from 1958 - 1983.

Closure of the Central Midwives Board in 1983 meant that there was no further need for Iolanthe House. It was sold and the funds raised from the sale of the lease were used to form the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust. A formal declaration was signed on 16 June 1983 by the Central Midwives Board and the Trustees, and the Trust was registered as a charity on 20 June 1983.

The founders of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust were forward thinking and believing that they could promote and improve the care of mothers, babies and families through awarding grants and fellowships in support of midwifery education, practice and research. Over the last 25 years the Trust has done just that. Money from the sale of the lease provides an annual income for the Trust*. This income has enabled the Trust to award in excess of 200 bursaries to midwives and others concerned with maternity care.

*The Trustees seek to invest directly only in those companies whose activities are considered to be ethically in accordance with the aims of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.