Midwife Victoria wins accolade for work with first-time mum

A midwife from Porthcawl who helped a first-time mother overcome her struggles with parenthood has been celebrated at a new Wales-wide awards ceremony.

Facing a daily battle to get her newborn baby daughter to breastfeed successfully, Kelly Gittins had all but accepted it would never happen until she met Victoria Owens.

Victoria helped 31-year-old Kelly, from North Cornelly, to successfully breastfeed as part of a service provided by the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme.

And now she has been named the regional winner for Cardiff and South East Wales in the inaugural Stars In Their Lives awards, which aim to highlight the amazing contribution made to children in their crucial early years by Flying Start professionals throughout Wales.

Those recognised include health visitors, midwives, parenting, early language specialists, and other childcare and development workers.

Victoria scooped the top spot for her region for her outstanding dedication to giving children a flying start in life.

Victoria Owens (right)with Kelly Gittins, who nominated her for the award, and Kelly's daughter Evelyn
Victoria Owens (right)with Kelly Gittins, who nominated her for the award, and Kelly’s daughter Evelyn

 

The 37-year-old, from Porthcawl, said: “I’m so surprised to have been nominated – being a first-time parent is daunting for anyone and I am so glad I was able to provide Kelly the support she needed.

“Awards like this highlight the great work being done by Flying Start workers all over Wales, not just here, and the need for parenting support generally.”

Nominations were put forward by local families from across Wales that are feeling the benefits of the fantastic work Flying Start teams are doing countrywide.

Kelly, now mother to one-year-old Evelyn, said: “I couldn’t have done it without Vicki, she has always gone the extra mile for me – visiting me in her work breaks and never letting me give up.

“She encouraged me to attend Flying Start group sessions when I didn’t want to leave the house, and I have always been able to share my feelings with her. I’m so glad she has got the recognition she deserves.”

The Stars In Their Lives award was introduced earlier this year as part of the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme, which aims to make a decisive difference to the lives of children under four in some of the most disadvantaged communities.

The programme offers free quality childcare for two- to three-year-olds, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help for early language development.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, said: “Congratulations to Victoria for her well-deserved award. I am delighted our hard working Flying Start staff are being recognised for the invaluable help and support they provide to people right across Wales.

“Flying Start changes people’s lives and is one of my key priorities. I am committed to ensuring families living in some of our most disadvantaged communities are given support to ensure children have the best possible start in life.”

Victoria is one of more than 2,000 Flying Start workers who work collaboratively to deliver the services across Wales, and will now go head-to-head with the three other regional winners from across Wales to be named the national Stars in their Lives award winner at the Flying Start National Learning Event to be held in January 2015.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/midwife-wins-accolade-work-first-time-8218957