Warrington’s £1.5m Birth Centre nears completion

Charity campaign aims for the skies to give mums-to-be an outstanding birth experience
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Warrington Hospital’s new £1.5m midwife-led birth centre is due to open in the autumn and a fundraising campaign has been launched to give mums-to-be an outstanding home-from-home birth experience.

On Saturday 29th August three WHH staff members, including a consultant midwife who is terrified of heights, will leap from a plane at 10,000 feet to raise valuable funds to improve the labour and birth experience of expectant mums and their birth partners.

The new centre - which will be called ‘The Nest’ following input and positive feedback from staff and service users – will provide four new birthing suites with state-of-the art birthing pools and sofas in a relaxing and comfortable environment. Research that has shown that women giving birth are much less likely to require medical intervention when they give birth in midwife-led units and in a relaxed environment.

The Nest will be an addition to the Trust’s existing maternity offer which currently include a midwife-led unit, community midwife-supported home birthing and obstetric-led care for women who require additional support during pregnancy and labour.

The Hospitals’ Charity has launched the fundraising campaign help buy a range of additional comforts, over and above what would normally be provided by the NHS, including birthing couches, reclining chairs, mood lighting, wall art and projectors. These items will provide a much more relaxing and pleasant environment for all mums-to-be, regardless of where they give birth.

Consultant Midwife Louise Tucker is taking part in the Tandem Skydive and said: “This project has been my passion and focus for the last five years and I am really pleased that all our planning and hard work is coming to fruition.

“However, I am really scared of heights and can’t even stand on the bottom rung of a ladder, so I am facing my fear for a cause that is really close to my heart – empowering more women to have a positive birth experience. I believe that this funding will make a massive difference and have a positive impact on women, babies and families.”

Louise will be joined by WHH colleagues Louisa Taylor from finance and Sophie Van Veldoven from appointments who is fulfilling a lifelong ambition. They will be joined by representatives from local businesses; Ashley Haynes from accountants Business-ology, Stephen Critchley from Bumblebee Plumbing and Heating and Gavin Sherriff from G-Force Communications Ltd.

The Sky Dive is the inaugural event for this fundraising campaign and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £500 through sponsorship. Head of Fundraising at Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Charity, Helen Higginson adds: “WHH charity is all about going above and beyond the patient experience, and the funds we raise provide additional comforts, care and experiences for the direct benefit of patients and their families beyond that which the NHS is able to give. For The Nest these will include birthing massagers to reduce pain, floating lights for the birthing pool and breast feeding pillows.

“We are asking our supporters to give whatever they can, from buying a small item from our Amazon wish list or having a socially-distanced coffee morning, to throwing themselves out of a plane to raise valuable funds. The Nest will be a community resource that will benefit not just mums but families in Warrington and Halton and we want it to make sure that together, we make it be the best experience it can possibly be.”

You can sponsor the skydivers on their individual JustGiving pages or via the WHH skydive campaign page www.justgiving.com/campaign/whhskydive To find out more information about how to become involved in further fundraising events that support The Nest email the WHH Charity team at WHH.Charity@nhs.net or call 01925 662666 

Pictured: Consultant Midwife, Louise Tucker

Original architect images of the Birth Centre, which will be known as The Nest.