Five years of study has resulted in a top prize for one of Cumbria’s newest midwives.
Helen Baxter, from Ambleside, is among more than 1,000 University of Cumbria graduands celebrating at Carlisle Cathedral this week.
Helen, 43, is also the recipient of the peer prize awarded by the university’s Department of Nursing, Health and Professional Practice.
The awards come just a few weeks after Helen began working as a midwife at the South Lakes Birth Centre. The £12m centre at the Furness General Hospital, Barrow, officially opened in February.
Helen, who studied for her BSc in Midwifery at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle, said: “It has taken me five years to complete the degree for a variety of reasons but during that time I’ve had so many experiences whilst on the course, including speaking at national conferences.”
Training as a midwife at the University of Cumbria fulfils a long-held ambition for Helen.
“I’d always wanted to go into healthcare, but I didn’t want to work as a nurse. I wanted to support women,” said Helen.
“The University of Cumbria was near home for me. It is difficult as a mature student to juggle life and children. Whilst it makes studying difficult, it also makes it all even more rewarding, particularly on days like this.
“The support I received was terrific whether it was practical support, as midwifery can be very demanding and difficult, to tutors providing huge amounts of emotional support. They really take an interest in you. Placements were also a key part of the course for me, working alongside midwives and in real situations.”
Earlier this year Helen was among a cohort of midwifery students from the University of Cumbria to receive pioneering training from the Abigail’s Footsteps charity, which was set up to raise awareness of bereavement. Training was delivered by the Sands Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity.
Picture caption: Helen Baxter (centre) with (from left) her partner Carol Yeates, son Cameron Baxter, daughter Rosie Baxter and mother Jane Williamson.