School of Health & Society 04.12.22

Inspirational student midwife to be VIP guest at national awards

Salford student midwife Zahra has received a special invitation to attend the Student Nursing Times Awards 2022, in recognition of her work supporting diversity and inclusion in midwifery. 

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) personally invited Zahra to attend. “The invitation came as such a surprise! I am so honoured to be nominated and to be recognised and valued in such a way.” said Zahra. 

“I have been working closely with an incredible midwife, Benash Nazmeen, in the hopes of transforming overall health inequalities. I’m also starting work with the Association of South Asian Midwives (ASAM) as a student ambassador to investigate the experiences of marginalised students. We will focus on the support and experiences that students have had whilst completing the course and any disparities that have been highlighted in the curriculum.” 

Zahra hopes her efforts will have a positive impact on Midwifery programmes at the University of Salford as well as helping improve the understanding of inclusivity and diversity within midwifery in general as a profession.

She explains: “When I first joined this course, diversity and inclusion was not something I thought I would be such an advocate for. However, as I’ve gained more insight into the curriculum, it was clear that there is a need for improvement in cultural competence. I was not prepared to be such an advocate for women of an ethnic minority in the practical setting. To be able to support these voices, help break down barriers and provide a voice for their needs is a basic necessity. Every student and qualified midwife must have the education, skills, and training to support all women, improving maternity and pregnancy outcomes overall.

Zahra also believes that visible representation is extremely important. “Both in the midwifery curriculum and within practice settings, diversity is lacking. Through visible leadership, I hope that that myself, and others, can inspire future midwives to qualify, succeed and lead in midwifery.”

“I’ve always been drawn to helping people, and the course is the perfect combination for me to be able to be empathetic, test my knowledge and intelligence, learn such intricate skills and be a part of such a beautiful aspect of life,” said Zahra. 

“I believe that the University of Salford is the best place to study Midwifery, so there was no doubt I would apply here. The simulation suites are such a blessing and the support you receive from the tutors is unmatched,” she continued.

Zahra will be attending the Student Nursing Times Awards in London on May 27, and says she can’t wait. “I am excited to be amongst such talented and inspirational people from the healthcare world! I’m most looking forward to hearing about other nominations and meeting other incredible student nurses and midwives!”

Dr Helen Cameron, Programme Lead (156 week BSc Midwifery) at the University of Salford said: “We are extremely proud of this recognition and of the amazing contribution Zahra continues to make within midwifery. She is an outstanding student and a credit to the University.”