Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) is delighted that five of its Healthy Together public health nurses (health visitors) have been nominated by local mothers to receive Leicester Mammas Breastfeeding Champions Awards in recognition of the support and care they have provided.

Health visitors Debbie Carlyle, Thelma Katebe, Mary O’Callaghan, Angie Jones (pictured) and Emily Grundy were all put forward for the awards by parents on their caseload because of the instrumental role they had played in the breastfeeding journeys of these families.

Quotes from the nominations include:

“She was just very reassuring … she stayed to just allow me to talk and air my concerns, and texted me the next day to make sure I was ok.”

“She has supported me so much with my second baby after a diagnosis of tongue tie….Nine months later she still checks in on us, and congratulates me on how far we’ve come. Without her quick thinking and wealth of knowledge, I would probably not have made it past 1 – 2 weeks. She truly is an inspiration, and genuinely cares about children and mums.”

Leicester Mammas (mammas.org.uk) is a breastfeeding support programme for families in Leicester. In partnership with LPT’s 0-19 public health nursing service, Healthy Together, it offers breastfeeding peer support to new mothers, and during lockdown this support has been more important than ever, with groups continuing digitally or over the phone. Leicester Mammas launched its annual Breastfeeding Champion Awards during Breastfeeding Celebration Week last month as a way of recognising the teamwork that goes into helping a new mother develop confidence with breastfeeding.

Sally Etheridge, founder and programme co-ordinator of Mammas said: “It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate the important role these health visitors have played in getting breastfeeding established. They have provided help, encouragement and information to mothers at a point when they can feel particularly isolated.”

Carole Fishwick, infant feeding lead at LPT added: “I’m so proud of these exceptional members of staff who have gone the extra mile in supporting mothers in the city. We know that breastfeeding has a range of health benefits for both mothers and babies, and it’s lovely that their dedication has been so appreciated.”