Carlisle and Eden MVP Team

I'm Sandra, I live in Ennerdale, and my children were born at West Cumberland Hospital.  I have been involved in relating the service user/ family perspective in maternity and children's services since my youngest son was 18 months old, and he is now at secondary school.  Maternity is such an important time in a woman s life, and her partner/ family's life. There is room for all to have a say in local services and lots of opportunities to be involved and make a positive difference. I'm Chair of West Cumbria Maternity Voices Partnership Group and acting Chair of the Carlisle & Eden MVP.

Hi, I’m Sara and mum to 3 little ones who were all born at the Cumberland Infirmary. I was able to breastfeed all 3 of my babies.  I trained and volunteered as a Breastfeeding Peer supporter for 5 years, I was keen to give something back as I’d received such good support myself. I feel strongly that the key to successful breastfeeding is information so that women can make informed choices about how to feed their babies, whether formula or breastfed; and local support if they choose to breastfeed. With local breastfeeding support groups being cut I attend public health meetings and have been a lay member of Maternity Voices for 3 years helping to raise awareness of local maternity needs for families. I live near Wigton and currently run Wigton Baby Social which is a weekly meet for local mums and little ones.

My name is Belinda Rae and I provide administration support for the Maternity Voices groups in both the West and Carlisle & Eden areas.  I work as a Team Secretary within the Maternity Department and am based in West Cumberland Hospital.  I provide administration/secretarial support for the Head of Midwifery and the Senior Midwifery Management Team, as well as the Maternity team in general and work closely with Maternity Voices to ensure effective meetings and communication with both the public and staff.  I enjoy attending the meetings (and can sometimes get a little more involved than I should!) and I am passionate about Maternity and the provision of excellent services for women in our area.  I look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings.

Hi I'm Michaela, mum to my 4 children who were all born at the Cumberland Infirmary. I had 4 very different experiences of maternity care which inspired my journey to midwifery. I am currently a 3rd year student midwife within North Cumbria. I am passionate about supporting women to feel empowered and confident throughout the perinatal period and ensuring I delivered women-centred care at all times. On qualifying, I hope to work within our local trust and contribute to improving maternity services for the better. 

Hello I'm Katherine. As well as being a mum to my three amazing children (who were all born at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle), I am Chief Executive of The Happy Mums Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Carlisle supporting women with maternal mental health problems like anxiety and postnatal depression. I experienced PND myself after my first daughter was born in 2011, so I know how important it is to embrace mental health during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. The MVP meetings are a great opportunity to ensure that women and their partners have a voice and can work with maternity professionals to continually improve local services.

I am mum to Joshua and Darcy, twins born at 23 weeks gestation. Due to their extreme prematurity we spent several months on the NICU at both the University Hospital of North Tees and the RVI in Newcastle. The twins had a rocky neonatal journey but are now thriving 5 year olds. Joshua has ongoing health conditions and learning difficulties and I balance being a carer for him with working and volunteering for a neonatal charity, Leo’s. I am a trustee and peer supporter for Leo’s and am passionate about helping other neonatal families who have been through similar experiences to mine. Joining the MVP is one of the ways I hope to give voice to other parents and try to give something back to my community.

I'm Murran, I went through ten years of IVF in Liverpool womens hospital.I've been successful in conceiving through IVF & also suffered subsequent miscarriages.My oldest son was born in the Cumberland infirmary & unfortunately my epidural went badly wrong.I've been studying & gaining qualifications to be able to help and support others through things I have personal experience with, and to raise awareness on these and other subjects.It's important to me to make people aware that even through negative experiences there are positives through them all, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.I'm currently pregnant with another little boy & have knowledge & experience with various maternity hospitals & treatments, sharing experiences & knowledge helps everyone towards working together for a better future

I have birthed and breastfed 6 children, I’ve had a wide range of birth experiences. I understand how important things are to women including  the right birth environment and also the language and communication by health professionals. That is the case whether you are being given information about breast feeding or being informed that your baby may be disabled.After having my last child I found that, unlike myself, some women in Cumbria had, unfortunately had, negative experiences when being informed their baby has Down's Syndrome. I am now secretary to Cumbria Down's Syndrome Support Group. I'm keen to ensure that these mums and their partners have a voice in shaping future maternity services in Cumbria.

I am Nicola, I have two grown up daughters who also work for the NHS.  I am the Programme Management Lead for our local maternity system and responsible for the delivery of the Better Births Programme.  I work closely with the Maternity Voices Partnership and with colleagues in North Cumbria Midwifery Service.  I am passionate about delivering the best NHS services for babies, children, young people and families.

Hi I'm Sherrelle mum of two daughters who were both born at the Cumberland Infirmary. I'm currently a 3rd year student Midwife studying at the University of Cumbria and I'm very passionate about supporting women and implementing change to improve women's experiences in our local area. I hope to work locally upon qualifying. As a 3rd year student, I'm about to join the new Continuity of Carer team which is very exciting.



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