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2017 Iolanthe Award Winners announced - July 2017

In April 2017, the Chair of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, Sheena Byrom OBE, announced the winners of the 2017 Midwife and Student Midwife Awards. She said:

"We are delighted to announce 21 worthy award winners this year - almost double the 12 winners we had last year.  The quality of the projects was extremely high and it is always difficult to choose which ones will be funded. Congratulations to all our winners!  We are also excited to announce our first Elizabeth Duff Award winner.  This award supports midwives to further develop practice or knowledge that focuses on the implementation of relationship based midwifery care and is named after a longstanding Iolanthe Trustee and subsequently our Executive Director for 10 years."

The 11 Student Winners Were:

Claire Welford, studying at the University of Bradford will be volunteering in a Refugee Women's Centre in Dunkirk

Eleanor Cramer, a student midwife from Anglia Ruskin University will train in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with a view to teaching Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting as a specialist mental health midwife

Kate Mackay, from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) will be attending e Midwifery Today conference in Finland, to enhance her knowledge of normal birth and enable her to care for women in a midwife-led unit in a remote area of Scotland.

Linda Owusu, a student midwife from London South Bank University will be travelling to Ghana for her elective placement, focussing on the support for vulnerable women.

Elena Uderzo, City University of London will use her award to fund places for student midwives at a conference on supporting women who have undergone fertility treatment

Lydia Hook, studying at University of Southampton is going to a birthing centre in New Zealand, to see how they facilitate such high rates of normal and the role of continuity of care.

Sarah Scarlett, University of the West of Scotland is attending a British Sign Language course to improve communication with deaf women receiving maternity care.

Ruby Scott, a student midwife from Edinburgh Napier University will be doing an elective placement at an independent midwifery practice in California.

Savannah Dallas,  studying at the University of Salford Elective placement will travel to a Women's Centre in Florida, looking after vulnerable women and those without health insurance.

Victoria Young, a student midwife from London South Bank University is planning to volunteer at a refugee camp in Greece to support pregnant women, mothers and babies.

Sophie Hall, a student midwife from University of York will be spending two weeks in Mexico, on an elective placement with a midwife specialising in birth outside the acute hospital setting.

The 8 Midwife Award Winners Were: 

Polly Sands, a midwife working at Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust wll be attending a counselling course to help set up a Listening Clinic for pregnant women.

Rebecca Westbury, a midwife from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is planning to attend a birth yoga instructors' course with to view to offering free yoga in pregnancy courses for women.

Debbie Garrod, a midwife based at University Hospital of South Manchester will use her funding for her PhD research: How do midwives and fathers communicate during labour and birth?  An ethnographic study in NW England.  Debbie gains the Ann Stewart award, given at the discretion of the trustees.

Dominique Mylod, a midwife from Bournemouth University is researching whether having a birth ball at home in early labour improves birth outcomes (The Ball Assisted Latent Labour ]BALL] trial).  Her funding will help with the cost of birth balls.

Helen Watson, who works at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be giving an oral presentation at the International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress in Toronto on discrimination of Romani women in maternity care in Europe. Her award will help fund her travel and accommodation costs.

Judith Elwood based at Ulster University will use her award to fund her attendance at the Royal College of Nursing International Nursing Research conference where she is giving an oral presentation on research into genetic markers to identify women at risk of postnatal depression.

Kerry Phillips, a midwife from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is organising a conference on Birth Trauma.  Her award wil help fund speakers and provide free places for student midwives.

Laura Abbott, a midwife from University of Hertfordshire will use her award to enable her to finish writing up her PhD of an ethnographic study looking at the experience of pregnant women in prison.

The joint Iolanthe/RCM Jean Davies award for addressing health inequalities is to go to:

Susan Crowther and Annie Lau from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.  They are  and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, who are carrying out research to identify the needs of Polish migrant women accessing maternity services in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The first Elizabeth Duff award for relationship-based midwifery cares goes to:

Rachel Buisson-Lex, an independent midwife from Dorset who is undertaking a pilot study research the viability of  arrangements for  independent midwives and NHS trusts to work together to care for women.

The awards will be presented at the annual Awards Ceremony to be held on 28 September 2017 in London.

Applications Dates for 2016-2017 - October 2016

Applications Dates for 2016-2017


Applications for the Midwives Award (up to £1500), the Student Midwives Award (up to £1000) and the Jean Davies Award for work into inequalities (up to £5000) will open on Monday 14h November 2016 and will close on Friday 27th January 2017.

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


Please watch our Chair, Sheena Byroms, wonderful video about last years awards winners and the work of the Iolanthe Trust!


Our award Winners 2015-2016


Become a Trustee of the Iolanthe - June 2016

The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust aims to 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 30+ years the Trust, a registered charity, has helped more than 300 midwives develop and broaden their skills and knowledge through financial awards and encouragement. The Trust depends on the leadership of its Trustees who believe that the education and development of midwives and student midwives is essential for the high quality care of mothers and babies.

We are now seeking a new Trustee with expertise in website design/management and social media promotion to support the work of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust. This position is open to both midwives and lay trustees.

Currently the minimum time commitment is to attend two London-based Trust meetings each year (usually March and November), to participate in assessment of annual award applications and to assist with other activities related to the work of the Trust, chiefly via e-mail, throughout the year.

We welcome applications from previous award winners. However, all applicants should note that trustees are excluded from applying for awards or any other financial benefit from the IMT, for the duration of their trusteeship. Trustees receive no remuneration; reasonable expenses are paid. Being a Trustee provides a great opportunity to make a difference to midwives and student midwives in the UK.

The application date for this position has passed.