I am thankful they were around when I needed a friend and a helping hand.


Volunteering Opportunity
Birth Companions Community Group
Birth Companions is looking for volunteers to help out at our weekly Community Group based in Islington supporting pregnant women and new mothers who are vulnerable and in need of support around the time of birth. We need women who can volunteer a minimum of 3 hours on at least two Thursdays per month during term time from September 2018 until July 2019.
Download further information and an application form here

Ministry of Justice to trial five residential centres for female offenders 
We cautiously welcome today's announcement from the Ministry of Justice that they are to trial residential units for women offenders as an alternative to custodial prison sentences of less than 12 months. We are particularly interested in comments from Justice Secretary David Gauke that mothers might be able to have their children with them.
For further comment please conatct our Director Naomi Delap

Publication of Public Health England’s new Gender Specific Standards to Improve Health and Well Being for Women in Prison.
We are particularly pleased to see that an entire section of these newly published standards relates to pregnancy and families. It is nearly two years on from the publication of our Birth Charter for Women in prison in England and Wales and we very much welcome seeing The Birth Charter cited as a reference throughout this section, as well as our work highlighted as an example of good practice.

At Birth Companions we know that the perinatal period and the first two years of a child’s life is a critical time in which to tackle harmful issues facing a woman during pregnancy and early parenting. Women in prison are particularly vulnerable during their pregnancies due to the effects of poor health, poverty, lack of support from family and friends and isolation. Working with mothers during this period presents a tremendous opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and to support them to give their babies the best start in life. 
We see the publications of the standards as a very positive first step towards improving the quality of services and outcomes for all women in prison and we are committed to working with our health and justice partners to assist in implementing these standards as quickly as possible across the women’s estate.

BJM Charity of the Year Award
Birth Companions won the British Journal of Midwifery’s Charity of the Year Awardat the beginning of February! This is not only a great honour but also a wonderful recognition of the hard work put in by all our staff and volunteers over the years. 
Now in their 10th year, The BMJ Awards are the UK’s leading medical awards. We promote excellence in healthcare and recognise the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country.

My Brilliant Moment
Watch Viv Grey one of our Trustees talk about her 'Birlliant Moment' being part of the start of Birth Companions here