Maternity Voices Partnership update.

The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) bring together parents with experience of maternity services with staff representatives at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust.  We regularly give feedback to help shape and co-design the maternity services offered to families in Leeds.

The MVP were part of Baby Week (2-9th November 2019). Over the past few months and within Baby Week our volunteers have been going into the maternity wards and talking to families to get feedback on their experiences of maternity services. Below is a picture of us with the Team Leader midwives after reporting back from a morning on the Antenatal ward at LGI. The response has been positive and a more thorough evaluation has been carried out following feedback from our maternity survey which can be found on our website; .



Through this we created a ‘you said we did’ breakdown of different areas you thought needed improvement. For instance ‘you said’ you felt your partner/father needed to be included more in the pregnancy – we can report that all birth partners are now allowed to stay over in the antenatal ward. ‘You said’ you wanted information to be easier to understand – we can report that the Trust now have a nominated member of staff with ‘I’m here to listen’ as a point of reference for women and families to go for any issues or concerns in each area.

The formal MVP has provided space for professionals and service users to meet and discuss important engagement in how to support fathers and birth partners in their role for breastfeeding support. The Trust has employed two Infant Feeding Coordinators who provide support covering both sites to help support women with breastfeeding.

The MVP took part in the ALWAYS event run by the Trust and the Patient Experience Team and through an engagement exercise they provided two vision statements:

  • I always expect to be offered the opportunity to have skin to skin contact with my baby for as long as I want
  • I always expect to receive consistent information about skin to skin contact with my baby

If you would like to know more about what the MVP does, visit our website or contact if you would like to join and become a parent representative.

Wellbeing Wednesdays have begun.

We’re so pleased to be able to say that our new wellbeing group has started!  It’s a monthly group for asylum seeking women, funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation.  The group brings women together to make friendships and reduce loneliness.  Each month we’ll share food, have a go at crafts, mindfulness activities and much needed relaxation.  It’s a fab way to come together and share our stories and coping techniques, have people to talk to and obviously, have fun!

In our first session we looked at what things we would like to do in the group, women suggested great ideas like going for walks, visiting local museums and trying new arts and crafts activities.  In our December session, one of the members is going to teach us how to knit while we come up with a name for our group.  It can be such a difficult, stressful and lonely time of year, so it’s lovely that we can all be there for each other while learning new skills.  We’ll keep you posted on the kinds of things we get up to!



Spotlight on our team….Bridget!

We like to give you the chance to get to know each of us a little bit more, this time our Finance & Office Manager Bridget is in the spotlight!

What does your role involve?

As the new Finance and Office Manager, I have been getting to grips with all the financial systems and procedures. I am enjoying the challenge and looking forward to using all my expertise to help shape the  future of WHM.


What’s your favourite thing about WHM?

From my short time working here, I can see that the WHM team provide such truly essential support, with abundance of enthusiasm, care and passion in such a tight economic time, it’s phenomenal and I am really happy to be part of the organisation.


What are 3 things do you enjoy doing?

I love to cook for friends and family, dinner parties and baking, any excuse, the more the merrier.

I like outdoor exercise and I am a bit of a thrill seeker so I like anything from wild swimming, running, to cliff jumping and sky diving for charity.

I like to be creative, doing abstract painting on large canvas, textile work and crochet.


If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?

I would make the standard of education equal across all Primary and Secondary schools, so it did not matter where you live, what your economic/social background is, what faith you are.  Everyone has access to the same standard of  education.

Financial Abuse Support

If you or someone you know is experiencing financial abuse from a partner or family member, there are now specialist support teams at some banks who can help.

*Financial abuse includes things like stopping you going to work, taking out credit in your name, controlling your benefits or wages, stopping you spending money on essential things like food, clothes and sanitary products, cashing your pension and lots of other things.

Lloyds, Halifax, MBNA and Bank of Scotland now have specialist support teams in this area, including a facility where a support worker can request they call you back.

The numbers are –
Lloyds – 0800 0665 703
Halifax – 0800 0854 475
BoS – 0800 1218 278
MBNA – 0800 0280428
Lines are open 8am-6pm Monday – Friday.

They can help with things like joint accounts, separation of finances, new products & services and important documents like proof of identity or address. They can also provide info on dealing with any debts – loans, credit cards, overdrafts and mortgages.

Also, there is some helpful practical advice here –

Then there’s a useful printable pack here –

Other banks may do this too, but these are the one’s we’re currently aware of. Please speak to someone if this is happening to you.