As long as children are little, give them deep roots,[Indian saying]
when they have grown older, give them wings.
life – learn – change
In December 1960, I was born as a child of Jamaican parents in the city of London. Life with six siblings provided me with an exciting and untroubled childhood. This is the likely reason why interacting with other people has fascinated me from the very beginning.
Education & Career Start
I decided to complete a professional nursing training (R.N. - Registered Nurse) at High Barnet School of Nursing after my graduation (general qualification for university entrance [A-levels] at Waltham-Forest Pre-Nursing College). Thereafter followed several advanced training courses before finally completing my second professional training as a qualified Registered Midwife (R.M.). This was undertaken at the "High Wycombe School of Midwifery" and "Basingstoke General School of Midwifery".
During my subsequent studies of sociology at North London Polytechnic I worked as a Registered General Nurse at the "National Hospital for Nervous Diseases Queens Square" responsible for the departments of neuro-medicine, neurosurgery, and one of the first HIV intensive care unit in Great Britain.
Subsequently, I cared for many families as a "Community Midwife" during pregnancy and accompanied them at birth (home and community related birth) within the Tower Bridge district in London.
Family Midwifery and Early Prevention
Falling in love initially brought me to Heidelberg at the end of the 80s where I was employed as a midwife in the maternity ward at Weinheim District Hospital. Since 1992 I have been living with my family in the Ruhr area. There I started my work as a Family Midwife which I have been practicing in Germany for more than 20 years.
Just as the political and professional-political environment in all matters concerning Family Midwifery and Early Prevention have changed in those years, my field activity has constantly developed:
- 1992 - 2007 Employment at the public health department of the city Hagen as one of the first family midwives in North Rhine-Westphalia in
the framework of the state programm: "Health of mother and child" for reducing infant mortality
- 2000 Co-founder of the network Family Midwives
- 2001 Provision of the Internet presence www.familienhebamme.de - the first online portal for family midwives
- 2004 - 2005 Contribution towards the German Midwifery Association (DHV) curriculum "From the Midwife to the Family Midwife" and to the professional profile "The Family Midwife"
- 2007 Training to become a Moderator
- 2007 First Family Midwives' representative of the state association of Family Midwives in North Rhine-Westphalia
- 2008 Development and implementation of the "Bochum Prenatal Prevention Project" as a Family Midwife and project coordinator at the public health department of the city Bochum
- 2009 Member of the expert commission “Child Protection”’ of the Ministry “Children and Youth” of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- 2010 Member of the German Midwifery Associations (DHV) commission “Family Midwifery”
- Since 2010 Organiser the advanced training courses "From the Midwife to the Family Midwife" in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- 2011 Completion of studies (BSc) of Midwifery Sciences at Caledonian University of Glasgow
- Since 2012 Development and implementation of Mülheim's Early Prevention project "For a Good Start into Life" as a project manager and coordinator of Mülheim's Social Urban Development Company ltd. (Mülheimer Gesellschaft für soziale Stadtentwicklung mbH)
- 2012 Contribution towards the guideline for municipalities "The Deployment of Family Midwives in Early Prevention Networks" of the National Center for Early Prevention (Nationales Zentrum Frühe Hilfen – NZFH)
- 2012 Contribution towards the "Competence Profile Family Midwives" of the National Center for Early Prevention (NZFH)
I hold numerous talks, seminars and workshops based on the above gained experience and `know-how` as well as my gained experiences as a "Community Midwife" in England. My fundamental beliefs and convictions are:
- Everyone has resources, one only needs to empower them
- Parents must be empowered in their parenthood so they can act self-determined and responsible for their children
This motivates me especially in difficult situations on a daily basis and unites ideally with my vocation to facilitate children receiving a good start into their lives.
Accompanying and providing guidance to expectant mothers or parents and their children, who are in challenged or insecure situations in life, has been my passion from the past to the present.