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What do we fund?

Each year the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust invites applications for a number of financial awards to be granted to midwives and students. These are given to support midwifery education, practice and research and to benefit the mothers, babies and families who receive their care.

Here we describe some of the types of projects that we fund. We hope it inspires you to apply for funding or to support us as a charity.


Training and self-development

Many midwives and students like to take on additional training to gain qualifications or enhance their skills to develop their midwivery practice. In recent years the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust has funded midwives and students to undertake courses in diverse subjects such as teaching yoga for pregnancy; cognitive behavoural therapy; prescribing for midwives; massage; fetal surveillance; and qualitative interviewing techniques.

With my award I was able to study level 2 British Sign Language. I have loved learning a new language and I feel that it is an excellent complement to my midwifery training.

Sarah Scarlett, Student Award 2017

Funding is also available to help students and midwives to travel within the UK or abroad. The Trust has supported many elective placements with students travelling to varied places to develop themselves and their midwifery practice.

Iolanthe Midwifery Trust is encouraging students to look at UK elective placements in the first instance, to experience midwifery with a diverse range of women and in different care settings. In the past, trips have also been funded to Australia and New Zealand, South America, the USA and Canada, to Africa and to Asia, including Nepal and India. Feedback indicates that placements abroad can be extremely useful in enhancing the student experience and developing an awareness of issues in international maternity care. However, Iolanthe tends to fund only those where the student has taken an active role in arranging the placement and carefully considered the potential valueand risks of the placement to them and others. Applications will only be considered where there is a clear benefit over and above a UK placement.

Having the opportunity to undertake an elective placement in a different area of the UK was extremely beneficial to my learning and I feel even more prepared for my future career as I approach the end of my training and plan for the beginning of my career in Midwifery.

emilee Lowis, Student award 2018, elective placement in powys, wales

Some midwives and students apply for funding to attend conferences, either at home or abroad. This could be to learn and to network with midwifery colleagues, or to present their own work.

Presenting the findings of my study at the ICM congress in Toronto enabled me to raise the profile of childbearing Romani women, who suffer discrimination as a disadvantaged group within the most marginalised ethnic minority in Europe.

Helen Watson, Midwives Award 2017

Since 2018, awards are invited from midwives who need financial help returning to midwifery practice. They are eligible if they have been accepted on a Return to Practice course at a university and approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and have a clinical practice placement.

Whatever skills, knowledge or experience you want to gain, there could be an award to suit you.  Find out more on our Grants and Awards page

If you would like to support us financially so we can offer more awards, then take a look at our Support Us page.

Research lightbulb

Research and discovery

It's not always easy to find funding for research. Iolanthe can help with funding for fees, equipment and travel, salaries or a subsistence income while undertaking midwifery research.

The award has financed the purchase of birth balls for the research project, which will remain with the host NHS Trust after the trial to lend to women in early labour and facilitate upright labouring positions

Dominique Mylod, Midwives Award 2017, PhD research into the use of birth balls at home in early labour

I’ve been able to buy such essential items as a digital voice recorder (for data collection via interviews) and some computer software to help me transcribe my fieldnotes.

Debbie Garrod, Midwives Award 2017, Phd research into how midwives communicate with fathers during labour

There are larger awards available, such as the Jean Davies Award for bigger, perhaps collaborative, research projects and in some years a substantial sum - the Midwifery Research Fellowship - is offered to help a doctoral midwifery student write up their research.

Whatever your research funding needs, take a look at our Grants and Awards page to see what could be available for your work.

If you would like to help us support additional research projects with a donation or fundraising, then Support Us is the place for you to look.


Improving local services

Some midwives use their funding to improve local maternity services for the direct benefit of the women, babies and families that use them. For example, in 2014, Annie Lester received the Jean Davies Award to pilot Group Pregnancy Care for vulnerable families in areas of deprivation local to her community. This is an evidence-based intervention known to reduce health inequalities and allowed young mothers and their partners to have both antenatal care and antenatal education in a group setting. This provided continuity of midwifery care as well as creating a supportive community both antenatally and postnatally.

Becky Westbury's award enabled her to train to teach pregnancy for yoga. This led to her setting up free yoga classes for pregnant women in her local area.

The classes are extremely popular, with as many as 30 women attending each week.  The women are really enjoying staying active and making friends with other local mums to be.

Becky Westbury, Midwives Award 2017

Some improvements are aimed at midwives. Jane Pollock, an award winner in 2015, ran a Caring for the Carers Project, with a conference and a tool kit for midwife delegates to help them cope with the stresses of working within maternity care

If you have a plan to improve local maternity services for women, or with benefits for midwives, take a look at our Grants and Awards page to see what funding you could apply for.

If you would like to help us to be able to give out more awards to improve maternity services and can fundraise for us, check out Support Us to find out what you can do.