Memuna Sowe – Specialist Midwife (vulnerable and marginalised women), Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and winner of the British Journal of Midwifery Midwife of the Year
“I’ve worked in the NHS since 2004 and am a specialist midwife working with vulnerable and marginalised women. I’m one in a line of people who work in the NHS, I’ve got family who are nurses, paediatricians… we cover a lot! I used to go with my auntie, who was also a midwife, on her visits to women in the community, always with their consent, and I really enjoyed listening to the conversations and post-natal checks. I’d already volunteered for two years at Croydon University Hospital in the children’s ward, playing with the kids who were in for operations and making them and their parents comfortable, so I already knew my way around when I started my job!
“Ever since I qualified I’ve always been interested in diversity and working with people from different backgrounds so when the post came up to work with vulnerable women, I jumped at the chance. My role is the first of its kind so I had to develop the pathway. A lot of the women that I work with are homeless or have just arrived in the UK. They usually get to me through one of the outreach points in the community, like the Salvation Army or one of our nurses. They might not have received any care until a late stage in their pregnancy, or they might have suffered other trauma, so what we do can make a big difference. We make sure they have continuity in their care, such as always seeing the same person, and that their care is accessible without judgement.
“I love that the job is constantly challenging and is different every day. It’s so satisfying to know that we can help someone make positive changes to their life – I love seeing the outcomes of our work and the women we help. I also thrive on diversity and working with people from different backgrounds, in this job I work with people from all over the world. The main thing for me is seeing women at the end of their pregnancy with the support that they need, that’s priceless.”