Iolanthe Midwives Award

The Iolanthe Midwives Awards enable recipients to undertake professional education or a project that helps to improve midwifery practice. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the programme undertaken is relevant to midwifery and will lead to improvements in care through practice, education, research or management studies.

About Iolanthe Midwives Awards

  • Awarded annually
  • Worth up to £1500
  • For UK registered midwives only


How to apply

You can download the guidance here: Guidance

All applications must be completed by using our registration process found here: Register for Awards. You will be sent a login link and then you will have the option to apply for one or more awards.

Applications for 2017 are now closed.  Applications for 2018 will open in November 2017 and will be awarded in April 2018.

Please contact us on if you have any questions about applying for the award.


Activities the awards have funded

Previous awards have enabled midwives to fund courses which increase their academic status and/or help them develop specialist skills. Recent examples include Masters courses in midwifery, counseling and psychotherapy, and reproductive and sexual health. In addition, these awards offer assistance with academic fees for PhD study. Other examples include breastfeeding management as part of a course to qualify as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, a prescribing course for midwives, and courses in alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy.

Midwives have also used this award to benefit colleagues as well as themselves. In 2012 Jilly Ireland used her award to run a course for midwives in Nepal. In 2010 Jude Davis organised two waterbirth study days for her colleagues with the aim of expanding access to waterbirth for women.

These awards also enable midwives to attend conferences to present their work. In 2012 Andrew Symon's award enabled him to attend the Normal Birth Conference in China. Two midwives were awarded funding in 2011 to present their work at the 29th Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives in Durban.

You can see where previous winners have come from on the maps below and read what they have said about how the award helped them to achieve their professional goals.

Previous award winners

Year Winner
  • Debbie Garrod, Funding fees, equipment and travel for PhD research: How do midwives and fathers communicate during labour and birth? An ethnographic study in NW England ( Also winner of the Ann Stewart Award)
  • Dominique Mylod, Funding the cost of birth balls for research into whether having a birth ball at home in early labour improves birth outcomes: The Ball Assisted Latent Labour (BALL) trial.
  • Helen Watson, Funding travel and attendance for a midwife giving an oral presentation at the International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress in Toronto on discrimination of Romani women in maternity care in Europe.
  • Judith Elwood, Fee for attendance at the Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research conference to give an oral presentation on research into genetic markers to identify women at risk of postnatal depression.
  • Kerry Phillips, Funding speakers for a conference on Birth Trauma and providing free places for student midwives.
  • Laura Abbott, Providing funding to help a midwife finish writing up her PhD of an ethnographic study looking at the experience of pregnant women in prison.
  • Polly Sands, Funding a counselling course for a midwife setting up a Listening Clinic for pregnant women.
  • Rebecca Westbury, Funding attendance at a birth yoga instructors' course to enable a midwife to offer free yoga in pregnancy courses for women.
  • Emma Mathews, pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to support her work at Wirral University Teaching Hospital in treating childbirth-related PTSD, depression and anxiety
  • Rosalind Weston, based at the University of Worcester, as part of her doctorate, is exploring the impact of ‘telling and listening to practice-related stories’ with midwifery and mental health nurse students. Rosalind gains the Ann Stewart award, given at the discretion of the trustees
  • Rachel Giaccone, midwife at the Brecon Birth Centre, will use her award will help train a minimum of 10 midwives in Powys to become hypnobirth practitioners
  • Natalie Scott, working in Skye and Lochalsh, wants to undertake the ’wise hippo’ hypnobirth instructor training programme, to enable women in these remote and rural environments to benefit
  • Nicola Bowen, midwife at the Samuel Johnson Hospital in Lichfield is studying perception of risk in pregnancy or childbirth for her MSc in Midwifery at Nottingham University.
  • Sharyn Lock, midwife at the Yorkshire Storks Independent Midwifery Practice, has planned a trip to investigate how to support midwifery-led normal birth in Gaza
  • Linda Jones, Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Trust, is doing an MSc Dissertation exploring women’s informed choice as a mechanism to influence midwifery away from custom and practice procedures
  • Jane Pollock, George Eliot NHS Trust, Nuneaton, is running a Caring for the Carers Project, with a conference and a tool kit for delegates to help them cope with the stresses of working within maternity care: Jane also receives the Ann Stewart award for commitment to practice
  • Claire Nutt, Women and Children's Health, North Bristol Trust, calls her project 'Massage for Maternity' – a course on infant massage with Wellmother, in Bristol, to enable offering personal massage sessions for both women in pregnancy and for midwives within the trust: Claire also receives the Dame Rosalind Paget award for a holistic approach to care
  • Mary Kitson, Whittington NHS Trust, Highgate, London, will pursue a Focused Course in Third Trimester Fetal Surveillance, with a view to providing holistic and timely care to women who attend the unit.
  • Victoria Davitt, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, is funded for her Masters degree in Advanced Leadership for Healthcare Practitioners, to help support a gender-based violence service
  • Catherine McParlin, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, will attend a workshop on Qualitative Interviewing in Health Research to help explore women’s experiences and examine attitudes and behaviours in greater depth than quantitative research alone.
  • Debbie Garrod, a PhD at the University of Leeds, on fathers’ experiences at the birth of their babies 
  • Lowri Hansford, PhD at Cardiff University, on the experience of mothers with a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit
  • Annabel Jay, University of Hertfordshire, a Doctorate in Health Research exploring women’s experiences of induction of labour 
  • Jan Stosiek, pursuing a professional doctorate at Bournemouth University on the subject of breastfeeding after breast cancer 
  • Shawn Walker, PhD at University of East Anglia, ‘developing competence and expertise in upright breech birth’
  • Emma Matthews, midwife at Wirral University Hospital, is focusing on psychological trauma after childbirth in her studies at Chester University – Emma also receives the commemorative Dame Rosalind Paget award
  • Leanne Rutkowski, midwife at the Sheffield Teaching Hospital, explores normality in high risk care at the University of Nottingham 
  • Tessa Snelgar, working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, takes her MSc course in Global Health & Development at University College London
  • Elizabeth Treasure works at the Robert Gordon University and for NHS Grampian in Aberdeen while on course for an MSc at the University of Glasgow in care for women using drugs and alcohol
  • Adele Roberts, based at the Hywel Dda Health Board in Carmarthen, Wales, gets funding to travel to the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Prague to present a paper on her project to ensure a positive experience of birth for Polish women
  • Susan Roberts, also a midwife at the Wirral Hospital, is organising a four-day training course in complementary therapies for three midwives 
  • Helena White and Kathryn Humpherson of Worcester Acute NHS Trust are both planning to travel to Sierra Leone as part of the African Maternity Health Link, and present a workshop
  • Claire Homeyard, consultant midwife at Barking, Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust, to help undertake a professional doctorate at Kings College London
  • Alice Keely, research midwife at the University of Edinburgh, to pursue a PhD studentship on provision for severely obese women
  • Sau Min Chang, labour ward midwife at Kings College Hospital, London, attended a ‘Prescribing for Nurses & Midwives’ course at KCL
  • Anne Marie Rennie, lecturer and PhD student at Robert Gordon University, was supported to continue her doctoral study into care for women experiencing miscarriage
  • Alison Callwood, tutor and PhD student at the University of Surrey, to study recruitment of midwifery students via ‘Multiple Mini Interviews’
  • Mary Longworth, lecturer at Bangor University, received support for her PhD at Manchester University, which investigates fathers’ influence on women’s decision making
  • Marianne Plested, independent midwife in Colchester, Essex, was funded to attend a Qualitative Research Methods Course at the University of Oxford
  • Andrew Symon, Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee who used his award to attend the Normal Birth Conference
  • Jillian Ireland, a midwife from Poole Hospital who used her award to run a workshop in Nepal. Read Jilly's report (PDF format)
  • Sheila Manning, midwife at the Balfour Hospital in Orkney
  • Gemma Taylor, Countess of Chester Hospital
  • Alexandra Birch, midwife at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital
  • Alison Cooke, research midwife at the Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, to attend the ICM Triennial Congress in Durban, South Africa, and present a paper on women’s experiences of delayed childbearing Read Alison's report (PDF format)
  • Deirdre Thajam, research fellow at the Maternal & Fetal Health Research Centre, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, also went to the ICM Congress and presented on fetal susceptibility to drugs of misuse. Read Deirdre's report
  • Laura Mundy, midwife at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff - to develop a training programme for midwives in assessment of perineal trauma, as part of her MSc in Professional Practice at the University of Glamorgan. Laura also received the Ann Stewart Award for commitment to midwifery practice
  • Lucy Jepson, midwife at the Sandwell & West Birmingham, to pursue a course leading to an Ascentis Level 3 Counseling Diploma. Lucy received the Dame Rosalind Paget Award for holistic, woman-centred care
  • Jude Davis, Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, to organise a perineal suturing study day for midwives in Aberystwyth. Read why 2011 was a good year for Welsh perinea!  (PDF format).
  • Ellie Jenkins, midwife at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, to support her DClinP studies and enable travel to Denmark to present a conference paper on the use of ethnographic research in healthcare
  • Jill Blakey, senior midwife at the Countess of Chester NHS Trust, to assist with costs of her dissertation on midwives’ views of normality as part of her MSc in Midwifery at the University of Salford,
  • Jude Davis, Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, organised two waterbirth study days for her colleagues with the aim of expanding access to this option for women. Jude also won the Ann Stewart Award for commitment to midwifery practice. Read Jude's paper (PDF Format).
  • Rajshree Seewoosurran, Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital, for an MSc in Advanced Midwifery Practice at Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Joselle Wright, Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospital, for her doctorate in health science, University of Nottingham, on Afro-Caribbean women’s experiences of antenatal care
  • Allison Farnworth, of Newcastle University, to support the first year of her PhD research into the impact on women’s experiences of early pregnancy loss
  • Dr Anna Brown, University of Surrey, who was carrying out focus groups, as part of an action research study into teaching/assessing empathy and sensitivity on the labour ward. Anna received the Dame Rosalind Paget Award for progressing practice though holistic care
  • Sarah Norris, studying for a PhD at Swansea University on teaching normality in a clinical setting, who was undertaking two courses on qualitative interviewing and analysis
  • Cathy Ashwin, for her PhD studies at the University of Nottingham, to assist with interpretation and transcription of interviews for research on postpartum smoking relapse
  • Teresa Kelly, Senior Research Midwife at Newcastle University, to allow her to take the UNICEF BFHI course in breastfeeding management and the IBCLC examination
  • Gill Perks, midwife at the Canterbury Birth Centre, to participate in a workshop at ‘The Farm’, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, as part of a Master’s degree programme
  • Iolanda Serci, lecturer in midwifery at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, for attendance at the 8th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, to inform her PhD study on perinatal depression and nutrition
  • Elsa Montgomery, lecturer at the University of Southampton, for two courses in interviewing skills to assist in her PhD exploring the maternity care of women who have experienced sexual abuse
  • Joanna Mead, midwife at the Rosie Maternity Hospital, to go on a UNICEF Breastfeeding Management course as part of her study to qualify as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Christine Birrell, for an MSc in Counselling, University of Edinburgh
  • Fiona Cross-Sudworth, Master’s degree in Women’s Health, University of Central England, Birmingham
  • Evelyn Davey, International Association of Infant Massage, instructor course at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. Evelyn was also awarded the Dame Rosalind Paget Award
  • Tiina Korhonen, BSc in Public Health, University of the West of England
  • Wendy Morris, BSc in Women’s Health, focusing on domestic violence, at Oxford Brookes University
  • Denise Oxnard, Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, Garnethill Centre, Glasgow
  • Joanna Raven, data collection for PhD study into quality of maternal health care in rural China, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Elizabeth Shenton, MBA, Keele University
  • Jean Walker, DMedSci on the effect of female genital mutilation/cutting on women, at the University of Sheffield
  • Maria Healy, to attend a course at George Mason University, Washington DC, USA, in Heideggerian Hermeneutical Methodologies & Advanced Course in Interpretive Phenomenology
  • Helen James, to undertake an MSc in Advanced Midwifery  Practice, University of Dundee
  • Jessica Read, for a PG DIP/MSc in Professional Leadership in Healthcare, King’s College London
  • Christine Birrell, for an MSc in Counselling Post Graduate Diploma, University of Edinburgh
  • Sonia Cumming, for a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Ultrasound, King’s College London
  • Angela Kerrigan, for an MA in Midwifery Studies, University of Central Lancashire
  • Christine Manning, for ITEC Diplomas in Holistic Massage and Aromatherapy, Belmore Holistic Training Centre, Buckinghamshire
  • Katherine Allen from LCTA (affiliated to Univ of Portsmouth) - to undertake her Licentiate Diploma in Acupuncture leading to BSc (Hons). In addition, Katherine was awarded the 2005 Rosalind Paget Award for the highest-scoring Education Bursary Application aimed at progressing practice through the use of Complementary Therapies
  • Alex Baxter from the University of Southampton - for an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Susan Gibb from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen - to attend the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Brisbane, Australia
  • Jillian Pride from the University of Hertfordshire - for an MSc in Advancing Practice
  • Anne-Marie Rennie from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen - to attend the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Brisbane, Australia
  • Laura Abbott, an independent midwife from Bedfordshire, for an MSc in Midwifery Science. Laura also received the Ann Stewart Award
  • Helen Blunn, practice development midwife from Hinchinbrooke Hospital, for an MA in Clinical Leadership
  • Esther Culpin, breastfeeding counsellor and midwife, Dundee, for an MSc in Midwifery
  • Bernadette Earley and Aishah Bibi, midwives at the Birmingham Women’s Healthcare NHS Trust, shared an award to attend a course in the Rational Foundations of Holistic Physiology in Pregnancy, Labour and Birth
  • Elaine Kirkham, midwifery sister at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital, for an Advanced Diploma in Counselling
  • Rosalind Weston, senior clinical midwife at the Gilbert Bain Hospital, Shetland, for an MSc in Midwifery
  • Hazel Woodcock, midwife at the Chesterfield & N Derbyshire Royal Hospital Trust, for the International Board of Lactation Consultants Examination
  • Andrew Yelland, midwife at St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol, for a course in Counselling
  • Sima Hay, to pursue an MSc in Midwifery at Kingston University
  • Joy Kemp, to complete the second year of her MSc in Advancing Midwifery Practice at King's College London. Joy also received the Ann Stewart Award
  • Esther Culpin, for an MSc in Midwifery at the University of Dundee
  • Jane Forbes, for an MSc in Health & Social Care also at the University of Dundee
  • Susan Clarke, to embark on a Master's degree in Public Health at Nottingham University
  • Elaine Kirkham, for a course leading to the ABC Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills at Blackpool & The Fylde College
  • Julia Robson, to pursue the K257 course in Mental Health & Distress: Perspectives & Practice - at the Open University