An award winning doula service that provides support for vulnerable pregnant women, has received funding to provide the service in eight more locations in Britain.
The Goodwin Volunteer Doula Service, based in the Fenchurch Street Children’s Centre, Hull and established in 2006, has helped nearly 200 women and their children.
The service-operated through the Goodwin Development Trust- trains volunteers to be ‘doulas’ or birthing partners for women who have inadequate support from late pregnancy to six weeks post-natally.
The Government is set to provide £270,000 over three years to allow for its expansion.
Alan Johnson, secretary state for health, said: ‘The pioneering work that has been started in Hull with volunteer doulas, has excellent potential to be developed in other areas of the country.’
Project manager Heather Barnes said the service had trained 64 volunteers who had made a tremendous impact into the lives of Hull women, and that the commitment volunteers have shown has been ‘outstanding.’
‘Our service demonstrates a clear fit with health agendas and has been evaluated locally as making a positive impact on local midwifery services,’ she added.
The service won a national award for Maternity Services in Isolated communities last year.
A conference will be held in Hull this summer to identify where the services will be replicated.