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Carlisle and Eden MVP Team
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Sandra Guise

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.

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Cristina Bowman
User Rep

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.

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Belinda Rae
NHS - Maternity Administrator

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.

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Jessica Wolton
User Rep

Hello my name is Jessica.
I recently joined  Maternity Voices as a first time mum to a 3month old little girl. I was lucky enough to have a really positive pregnancy and birth, although navigating the journey of this through the lockdowns was tricky at times, and having had several friends who were also pregnant/recently given birth, I felt that there was areas within maternity services that could be improved or gaps in the services that if filled could make the world of difference.
As an aspiring midwife I am passionate about the care and support of women, and I hope to be able to help other Mums down the line by sharing my experience; that was my goal for joining Maternity Voices. It feels good to contribute in some way.

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Sherrelle Smith
User Rep

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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Emma Heseltine Armstrong
User Rep

Hello my name is Emma and I am mum to two boys, one born at the Cumberland Infirmary and one born at home. I got involved in Maternity Voices in the hope of helping and encouraging other mums who have had similar experiences or are interested in VBAC choices. My eldest was born early via emergency c-section and spent some time in SCBU. With the advice and support of the midwives and consultant I was able to have a VBAC with my youngest, although I had not planned on him arriving at home. I am orignially from Leeds but moved here 10 years ago to compete a farming apprenticeship, I now farm with my husband and am involved in the local farmers markets. 

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Sara Dawson
User Rep

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.

Mandy Marsden - Maternity Voices Partner
Mandy Marsden
User Rep

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.

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Nicki Trewitt
NHS Cumbria

I am Nicki, I have two grown up sons 20 and 22yrs who are at University, and have recently moved to Cumbria from the North East.  I have a background in Health Visiting and Sick Children’s Nursing and have worked in many managerial roles in the NHS for over 30 years. I am looking forward to being more involved 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.

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Becky Carruthers
User Rep

My name is Becky and I’m a midwife at NCIC based at the Cumberland Infirmary. I trained and worked in Manchester but recently returned to Cumbria with my husband to be closer to our families. In 2020, I became a first-time mum and had my very own lockdown baby. I had a high-risk pregnancy due to reduced growth so was closely monitored and received shared care from my community midwife and obstetrician. My pregnancy was challenging for many reasons. I struggled with sickness and nausea throughout and had many worries due to the uncertainty of having a baby during a pandemic. I grieved for the loss of normality such as attending antenatal classes, my partner being present at my scans and was really worried he wouldn’t be there to witness the birth of our baby. However, I was privileged and very lucky to be on the receiving end of fantastic care. I was induced and had the most amazing positive birth experience. I am keen to be part of the MVP as I’m passionate about improving services and embracing multi-disciplinary teamwork for women centred individualised care. My experience of becoming a mum has highlighted even more so how important it is for women and families to feel listened to, to be involved in decision making and feel empowered throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey. 

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Laura Rodgers
User Rep

I’m Laura Rodgers, one of the 2 Infant Feeding Coordinators for the Health Visiting Service at NCIC NHS Trust. I cover the North and West of the county and my counterpart, Beth Rengers covers the South and East. Our role consists of providing a specialist service to families with more complex infant feeding issues, coordinating the Health Visiting service work towards Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Accreditation, as well as the development of policies, staff training and strategic work within the service. I have my own little boy who taught me that feeding babies is often not straightforward! This made me want to do what I can to support other families in their infant feeding journey, no matter how they feed their child. Being part of the MVP gives me the opportunity to listen to and act on feedback from families, build relationships with other services and support the excellent work of the local MVP network.

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Michaela Douma
User Rep

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. 

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Jan Sibbert
People First Advocate

My name is Jan,
I have worked for over 25 years supporting and advocating for families during their most difficult times following life changing events and trauma, this alongside my own personal experiences of maternity care has given me the passion and determination to ensure that all individuals are listened to by their healthcare providers, heard, and their wishes respected. 
I work for People First as a Maternity and Neonatal Independent Senior Advocate.  People have always been at the heart of everything I do both personally and professionally.
I am looking forward to working with Maternity Voices Partnership to help champion the voices of women, birthing people, and their families in shaping local maternity services and system change.

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Julie Tiffin
Midwife - Project Lead at NCIC

Hi I am Julie, Project Lead Midwife for Continuity of Carer for NCIC. I am a mum of two grown up boys, one born in London and one born in Carlisle.
I have been a Midwife for over 27 years, mainly working in the community setting.  I have also been a Specialist Midwife for Teenage Pregnancy. We are very pleased to have our first Continuity of Care team, the Caldew Team  in Carlisle, which commenced in November and we hope that we will be able to develop further teams in North Cumbria. I look forward to being more involved in MVP.

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Hannah Murgatroyd
User Rep

Hello! I'm Hannah. 
As well as being a Mum of three wonderful children, I am a specialist newborn photographer and primary school teacher. 
I have chosen home birth for all three of my children and I am a big believer in women being given choice over whatever birth experience they choose. I actually ended up having my first two children in hospital. But this has made me even more passionate that women's choices around birth are respected and acknowledged.
I chose to get involved with Carlisle & Eden MVP after having my second child and I think this service is a great way for people accessing maternity services to have their voices heard.

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Sarah Penn
User Rep

I’m Sarah and I have one child who was born at the Cumberland Infirmary in 2018. I suffered badly with my mental health during pregnancy and after my daughter was born, which led to a 2 month admission to the mother and baby unit in Morpeth. It also started my involvement with Happy Mums, a non-profit foundation based near Carlisle for mums and pregnant women with mental health problems. I have since volunteered and been employed there as a peer group facilitator and now project lead for our exciting new project #HappyMumbria, which aims to bring peer support to women across north, east and West Cumbria. I am keen to make sure the voices of those who battle mental illness alongside the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood are heard.

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