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Midwifery student wins national midwifery award

Lisa Cecere, third-year Midwifery student at London South Bank University, has won a top prize at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Awards
23 January 2014

The prize, presented by newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, was awarded as a travel bursary which Lisa will use to travel to the Peruvian Amazon to gain insight into the local maternity and midwifery services.

The annual RCM awards reward the professional excellence, hard work and dedication of the UK's midwives, while celebrating exceptional achievement across all levels of the profession. The purpose of national midwifery award is to assist a student midwife or group of students to undertake a carefully planned elective placement away from the normal educational and practice environment.

Trainee midwives can submit an application for the Pampers-sponsored bursary award, outlining the rationale for the elective placement, background information about the proposed placement, how will it benefit the development of midwifery knowledge and practice, as well as timescale and costs.

"I am honoured and flattered to have been chosen as the winner of the RCM Student Travel Award as the projects of the other shortlisted candidates were exceptionally inspiring," Lisa says.

"I am thrilled, grateful, excited and looking forward to my elective placement in the Peruvian Amazon later on this year. I would also like to give very special thanks to my personal tutor Margaret Walsh - without her on-going support, advice and encouragement I would not stand here holding this precious trophy," Lisa adds.

Experiencing midwifery care in the Amazon

Lisa intends to spend her travel bursary on a five-week elective placement in the central Amazon of Peru, where she will visit a hospital in the highly multi-ethnic and multicultural region of Pasco.

"I am eager to observe community midwifery services and to talk with indigenous women in order to explore their traditions, their beliefs, and their practices in relation to pregnancy and birth," Lisa says.

"I hope I will have the opportunity to meet some 'parteras tradicionales' – traditional birth attendants – and potentially attend a birth with them."

Before taking up her BSc (Hons) Midwifery course at LSBU, Lisa completed a Masters in International Development - and the elective placement will not be the first time Lisa travels to Peru:  

"Amongst my past experiences, I collaborated with an Italian international organisation in a programme empowering native communities in Peru, which brought me to do field work in the Amazon region for a total of six months," Lisa says.

"I saw how crucial it was for women to have access to the continuing support that gives them the self-confidence and energy to fight for the betterment of their lives. I felt my own dedication should be to the promotion of women's health and women's rights.  That is how I realised that I would be a much more useful encourager and enabler of women's development with more specific, practical skills and knowledge, so I decided to train to become a midwife."

Find out more about Adult Nursing and Midwifery at LSBU.

"We congratulate Lisa on her success in winning the RCM travel award for her elective placement in Peruvian Amazon, to gain an understanding of the healthcare provision given to women living in marginalised indigenous communities. 

"Lisa is a third year BSc (Hons) student midwife at LSBU who demonstrates a passion and commitment to midwifery in providing support for women, babies and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. 

"In addition to being pro-active in her learning within the course, Lisa is involved in voluntary work with a small UK charity providing support to pregnant women and new mothers while in detention as well as those who have experienced, or are at risk of, being detained. As Lisa's personal tutor, I find Lisa's motivation and commitment to the midwifery profession inspiring."

Margaret Walsh, Principal Lecturer in Midwifery at the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Lead Midwife for Education (LME)