Student crowned ‘Midwife of the Year’

A University of Bedfordshire student has been awarded a top prize at this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards.

Third year student, Chelsea Beckford-Procyk, attended the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday 27th May, where she was announced as the winner of ‘Student Midwife of the Year’. She was also nominated in the ‘Mary Seacole Award’ category which recognises students’ outstanding contribution to diversity and inclusion within nursing and healthcare.

Based at Bedfordshire’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bedford Site, Chelsea is currently in her final year of studying BSc (Hons) Midwifery with the University’s Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (HSS). Speaking about her win, Chelsea said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the Student Nursing Times Student Midwife of the Year.

“I decided to take on extra-curricular work on anti-racism in midwifery care because it was something I am passionate about. To receive recognition for this on such a large platform shows that my voice matters and my work is of value. This really motivates me to keep going and I’m really looking forward to seeing where my future career path takes me.”

Dr Louise Grant, Executive Dean of HSS, added: “The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Education in our Faculty is exceptionally proud of Chelsea’s achievement. Highlighting the importance of anti-racist maternity care is an absolutely essential if we are to address the inequalities in health Black, Asian and other minoritised women experience as outlined in a recent report. Chelsea is a credit to the University and our brilliant practice partnership with the Bedfordshire Hospital Trust.”

Chelsea joined Bedfordshire’s Midwifery course in 2019 and has been working on placement at Bedfordshire Hospital Trust as part of her studies. She also helps to train hypnobirthing instructors for the Little Birth Company and runs workshops for fellow student midwives and birth workers.

Throughout her time studying at the University, Chelsea has been a champion of promoting anti-racism in maternity care, publishing an article in The Practice Midwife Journal, speaking at a global conference for International Day of the Midwife and running a podcast and blog – ‘Blk Mum to Midwife’.

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust works in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire to help teach student midwives, nurses, paramedics and health workers how to reach their potential.

Upon hearing about their trainee midwife’s win, Liz Lees, Chief Nurse at the Trust, said: “On behalf of Bedfordshire Hospitals I would like to say a big congratulations to Chelsea on winning this award. Inclusivity is one of our core values and Chelsea has taken on extra responsibilities to educate and inform her colleagues about incredibly important issues.

“It is fantastic to see individuals with such passion enter the midwifery profession. I am looking forward to seeing Chelsea start what I am certain will be a successful career in midwifery and inspiration for others to join such an amazing profession.”

The aim of the Student Nursing Times Awards is to bring together the nursing community to shine a light on the outstanding talent working in the profession.

Steve Ford, editor of Nursing Times, said: “Congratulations to all our winners at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2022. Once again, I was really impressed by the strength of entries that we received this year. Our awards recognise a group of outstanding students on their journey to entering the nursing profession, as well as all those who support them along the way, including lecturers, universities and healthcare providers.

“They celebrate students from all over the UK and at different stages of the nursing education journey, from first years to those who have recently qualified. Their innovation and achievements so early in their career already mark them out as sources of inspiration and rising stars for the future.”

For more information about studying Midwifery with the University of Bedfordshire, visit the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Education webpage.

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