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2023 Award Winners announced

4 May 2023

Today, on International Day of the Midwife, the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust is delighted to announce the Iolanthe Award Winners for 2023. 

Iolanthe's Chair of Trustees Suzy Adacen said, 

"A huge congratulations to all of our winners! Well done, it is an honour to work with you all. I also feel every single midwife in the UK is a winner - thank you for your work to bring new life into this world and for your support of our birthing families. Keep up the good work - lots of love!"

Iolanthe's Exectutive Director Moira Dennison said, 

As one of my first duties as the new Executive Director of Iolanthe I am delighted to have this opportunity to congratulate all our amazing award winners for this year.  I'm really looking forward to following your progress.

All of us at Iolanthe congratulate not only our winners but all midwives and student midwives who applied, for all your hard work. We can only give awards to a small number of applicants, but we recognise the committment and effort of all who applied, and indeed all the UK's midwives, on this International Day of Midwives 2023. 

Please note that this year, the Trustees have not awarded a Dora Opoku Student Award, but instead have awarded two Dora Opoku Midwives Awards. 

The winners of 2023's five named Awards are as follows.

The 2023 Iolanthe/Royal College of Midwives Jean Davies Award for addressing health inequalities goes to:

Sarah Esegbona-Adeigbe, (above), a midwifery lecturer at London Southbank University, who will use her award to support a qualitative study of migrant Nigerian mothers’ and midwives’ perceptions of cultural competency in antenatal care, as part of her PhD studies. 

The winner of one of two 2023 Dora Opoku Award for Black and Brown midwives is:

Heba Farajallah, (above), a midwife at NHS Grampian,  who will use her funding to research maternity care experiences of asylum-seeking and refugee women in Scotland, as part of her PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen. 

The winner of one of two 2023 Dora Opoku Award for Black and Brown midwives is:

Roselyn Bunhu, (above), a midwife with the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, who will use her award funds to film content for a free Black Women's Pregnancy Hub web app. 

The 2023 Mary Cronk Award (to an applicant for another award whose project aligns with Mary's passions and values) goes to: 

Magdalena Bremner, (above), whose Iolanthe application will support her to put on a Breech Birth Study Day for her colleagues at the University of the West of Scotland.

The innaugural Norah Faith Coniam Award (for a project addressing issues around baby loss and bereavement, including early pregnancy loss) goes to:

Lauren Trepte, (above), a clinical research team leader at West Middlesex University Hospital, who will use her award to research the use of virtual reality headsets as a support method during clinical procedures associated with pregnancy loss, as part of her Masters of Research in Womens Health and Reproductive Science.


The five winners of Iolanthe's Student Awards are:

Emma Frazer, (photo to come), of Kingston University, whose award will support her to attend a homebirth placement in rural Cornwall.

Kayty Richards, (above), President of the Midwifery Society at the University of Derby, whose award will enable the Society to offer a Power of Compassionate Care course free to students, with some extra places for local midwives. 

Keira Georgeson, (above), who will use their award to help fund the University of South Wales Midwifery Society to host the 2023 All Wales Student Midwife Conference. 

Magdalena Bremner, (above), whose award will fund a Breech Birth Study Day for her colleagues at the University of the West of Scotland. Magdalena has also been given the 2023 Mary Cronk Award

Rachel Grace Symon, (above), Vice President of the Midwifery Society at Robert Gordon University, will use her funding to attend a British Sign Language course at the University of Glasgow, in order to better support Deaf birthing families. 


The six Iolanthe Midwives Award Winners are: 

Adeyemi Johnson, (above), an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow/Perineal clinic midwife at Croyden University Hospital, whose award will support her Masters research into the experience of women with perineal wound infections who access a hospital based perineal clinic. 

Emilie Edwards, (above), a midwifery lecturer at Middlesex University, will use her funding to undertake the Calibre Leadership Programme at Imperial College London, to support her advocacy role for Neurodivergent people in Higher Education Institutions and the NHS.

Hannah King, (above), Birth Suite Leader at East Lancashire Hospital Trust, will use her funding to provide a Human Rights in Birth study day for her colleagues, covering reproductive justice and a rights-based approach to care delivery.

Katie Heath, (above), Assistant Service Manager for Maternity and Neonates at East Lothian NHS, will use her award to offer a Biomechanics for Birth Professionals workshop to her colleagues, aiming to embed a biomechanics focus in supporting women and birthing people with challenging labours.

Leonie Wintercrane, (above), a community midwife with North Bristol NHS Trust, who will use her funds to improve accessible antenatal education for Migrant women, by creating a set of translated resources that will assist midwives to provide women with vital information about pregnancy, childbirth and looking after their babies. 

Rebecca Heorton (above), Safeguarding Midwife at Guys and St Thomas' Foundation Trust, will use her award to fund the final year of her MSC  in Advanced Child Protection.


All the Trustees and staff at Iolanthe Midwifery Trust send our congratulations to this year's winners. We are honoured to be able to support your hard work and your visions for maternity care, and we look forward to the unfolding of your plans and projects, in this, your Iolanthe year.