Lisa Cecere, BSc (Hons) MidwiferyLisa harbours long-term ambitions of working for an organisation like Medecins Sans Frontieres to help advance women's rights and quality of life
She took a slightly unusual route into midwifery, but her outstanding dedication has led Lisa to win a prestigious national award and be nominated for another.
This year Lisa was the winner of the Pampers Student Travel Award at the RCM Annual Midwifery Awards. She was also nominated for the Outstanding Student Midwife Award in the 2012/13 Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Awards. The Cavell Nurses' Trust, set up in memory of World War 1 nurse Edith Cavell following her execution in 1915, launched the Scholarship Awards to recognise exceptional student nurses and midwives across the UK.
Being nominated for the award, which carries with it a travel scholarship worth £1500, was a pleasant shock for Lisa. "I was surprised when I found out; I am sure that there are plenty of hardworking, deserving student midwives out there and felt flattered I had been shortlisted. I was very honoured."
The path to midwifery, and being nominated for a national award was slightly unorthodox for Lisa. With her background in international development Lisa decided that midwifery would be the most effective place to use her talents. Having seen first-hand the impact midwifes can have on people's lives, and the severe need in certain parts of the world, Lisa then resolved to qualify as a midwife.
"Maternal and perinatal mortality rates represent one of the deepest inequalities that separates the Western world from the less resourced countries. Having worked in the Amazon region, 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 promote women's health and women's rights. 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."
As with all journeys the course had its challenges, but for Lisa the overall positives greatly outweigh the negatives.
I considered myself very lucky in the first place to have managed to secure a place with what's considered one of the best providers of midwifery education in London. Each and every one of the tutors who have been involved in my training has been competent, friendly and approachable but most importantly, exceptionally dedicated to our learning.
Noting the current economic and political climate, Lisa stresses that working within the strained and overstretched NHS maternity services was at times particularly challenging – with the work being both emotionally and physically draining. Nonetheless, her enthusiasm for midwifery is as strong as ever.
If one focuses on the work with clients then all the rest disappears to leave only a heart full of warmth. As a student midwife I feel everyday extremely privileged to be able to share with women and their family this special and intimate time which is their journey to motherhood.
Lisa's main aim now is to qualify and become a good midwife. After that she harbours ambitions of using her midwifery training to provide support and education to those in need. "I would love to contribute to the work of organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres or VSO but my husband and I also look forward to building a family of our own so I guess I will just need to wait and see."