An Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ maternity worker who supports some of the most vulnerable new mums in the district has scooped a national award for her commitment to the job.
Lucy Downing, who works in the community maternity team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was named Maternity Support Worker of the Year at the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards.
She beat a host of nominees to reach a shortlist of four; then went on to scoop the top prize, for her work with new mums in some of the most deprived areas of Bradford.
For Lucy, who joined the Trust as a trainee maternity support worker two years ago from a special needs teaching assistant background, with no hospital or healthcare experience, the award is the icing on the cake in a new career that she loves.
She is part of the Opal Midwifery Team, which is funded by Better Start Bradford and helps women in deprived areas of Bradford prepare for their baby’s arrival – giving them practical and emotional support so their baby has a good start in life.
Making a difference
“When I heard that I’d won I didn’t quite believe it,” said Lucy. “I’m still on cloud nine! I love every part of my job. It doesn’t feel like work, and I’m proud that everything we do in the team really does make a difference to the mums and babies we support.”
Before joining the Trust, Lucy, who lives in Bradford, completed voluntary work in the NHS to help her new career. She eventually hopes to become a midwife.
Lucy’s manager, Sally Armstrong, nominated her for the award and the judges clearly saw her positivity shine through, too.
“Lucy’s an exceptional maternity support worker who has really grasped her extended role within the Opal team, where she works with families in areas of high deprivation. We’re so proud of her,” said Sally.
Sara Keogh, head of midwifery at the Trust, added: “Lucy has such positive energy which passes to the rest of her name, it’s just amazing – I wish I could bottle it!
“Everyone in the team’s been rooting for her and I’m just so thrilled that she’s won.”