News from 2014

Catch up with the latest news from Cavell Nurses' Trust or browse the archive of news below.

Simon Knighton is 1 in 100

Our Chairman, Simon Knighton, tells us why he is excited to be climbing Mount Edith Cavell in August 2015 and why you should sign up too!

Being a keen mountaineer myself it was an easy decision to sign up to the Mount Cavell Challenge!

I am the Chairman of Cavell Nurses’ Trust and felt it was necessary to get involved and take part in the challenge of a lifetime whilst raising funds towards an incredibly worthy cause. I am raising money for Cavell Nurses' Trust because they help nurses, midwives & health care assistants in need, I am proud to say I am helping care for those who care.

I was recently lucky enough to be able to fly out to Canada and climb Mount Edith Cavell myself. I was able to travel out in the same week as is planned for the 2015 trip, August 22nd – 29th. I experienced beautiful clear blue skies and a thoroughly enjoyable trek through coniferous woodland and conquered the snow-capped summit of Mount Edith. The paths were scenic and a dream to walk on; although once clear of the woodland I encountered challenging scree slopes with lose talus rocks. No ropes or technical equipment was required on my ascent of the mountain.

The climb itself took 12 hours and was physically demanding in parts, although it was no match for a determined mind! The trek itself was thoroughly enjoyable with breath taking scenery of dramatic mountain peaks, ice fields and plunging glaciers.

Completing the ascent of Mount Edith Cavell is just one of the many challenges available whilst taking part in the Mount Cavell Challenge. There is also a range of rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, mountaineering and trekking challenges to all be tried, and after seeing the terrain that surrounds Jasper these challenges will definitely live up to expectation!

If you would like more information about how to get involved in the event, take a look at our Mount Cavell Challenge page or email:

Crumbs! It’s Cavell Coffee Morning.

Yesterday, all across the UK, hundreds of people got their sweet tooth sated with chocolate cake, tantalising tarts, beautiful brittle and of course creative cupcakes. But why?

It was the first Cavell Coffee Morning and the start of a new tradition! A chance to come together, bake and be merry to support UK Nurses, Midwives and Healthcare Assistants with Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Here’s a selection of your social activity from the day. We’re busy planning our next Cavell Coffee Morning, so stay in the loop and sign up here.

149 years young! Norfolk nurse celebrated

The 149th Birthday of Norfolk heroine and Nurse, Edith Cavell, was celebrated in style on 4th December by Cavell Nurses Trust and the Maids Head Hotel.

The historic Norwich hotel hosted a drinks reception attended by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Chloe Smith MP and the Canon Librarian of Norwich Cathedral. The event began by naming a room in the former Cavell Home for District Nurses, now part of the Maids Head Hotel, after WW1 heroine Edith Cavell.

Christina Edwards (Trustee), Ruth Sanders (Supporter)
and Linzi Rawson, (Hotel Sales Manager)

The event supported Cavell Nurses’ Trust, established in 1917 following the execution of Edith Cavell. Today, Cavell Nurses’ Trust gives welfare support to nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and students who are in financial or personal hardship. This can be because of illness, domestic abuse, disability, working poverty and older age.

The Trust has supported six Nurses, Midwives and HCAs in Norfolk in the last 6 months alone. Grants have been given to a retired nurse who after nursing for 29 years is in poor health and struggling to manage on a limited income, the Trust also provided support to a HCA currently unable to work owing to diagnoses of breast cancer and depression, with a great deal more support given to those in need.

The Trust’s welfare manager Jean Hayes said: “Cavell Nurses’ Trust believes every nurse, midwife and healthcare assistant should get the right support when they need help. If they’re training, working, retired or in a new career, nurses are there for everyone. So we’re here for nurses.

“It’s fantastic to have the support of the Maids Head Hotel!”

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel added: “Everyone here believes we should show our support for our nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants - after all we’ve all been cared for by them at some point in our lives.

“The Maids Head Hotel has a rich history, interlinked with Edith Cavell’s story. Part of the hotel, acquired in 1956, was the former Cavell Home for District Nurses, opened by Queen Alexandra in 1918, at the same time as the unveiling of the Edith Cavell memorial. This makes our support of the Trust even more relevant today.”

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2015 will see events to commemorate the centenary of Nurse Edith Cavell take place across the country, from Norfolk to London, Brussels and Canada.

To stay in touch with Cavell Nurses' Trust click here.

Cavell receive £60,000 funding to help nurses, midwives, and HCA's

We are pleased to announce that the Garfield Weston Foundation have awarded Cavell Nurses' Trust a total of £60,000 for our work in supporting nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants over the next three years.

The funding which will be given in grants of £20,000 per year will also enable us to embark on a pioneering action research project to investigate domestic abuse within these professions.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust has seen an increase in the number of people seeking our help because of issues associated with domestic abuse. Therefore the generous funding from Garfield Weston Foundation and the subsequent research we will be able to undertake is much needed and will hopefully give us an opportunity to better understand how we can support these healthcare professionals.

Jean Hayes, Welfare Services Manager at Cavell said: “This is wonderful news. The support received from Garfield Weston Foundation will not only help us to continue supporting our beneficiaries when they are experiencing exceptional difficulties but also make a real difference to those health care professionals experiencing domestic abuse .”

Garfield Weston Foundation are a grant-making trust which has been supporting charities across the UK for over 50 years. The Foundation's aim is to support organisations that have effective solutions to helping those most in need.

To find out more about how Cavell can support nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have experienced domestic abuse please visit our advice page.

Cavell Nurses' Trust awarded major Heritage Lottery Fund grant

We are delighted to announce that Cavell Nurses' Trust have been awarded £91,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to be used in exploring the life and death of First World War British nursing icon, Edith Cavell.

Further to this exciting announcement the government has also pledged £50,000 towards the restoration of Edith's grave in Norwich Cathedral, where she was buried in 1917. This will include a memorial garden featuring Edith Cavell roses as well as restoration of the grave itself and new pathways to create better access for those holding annual commemorations at the graveside. These refurbishments will made in time for the centenary of her death, next year. 

Helen Grant, Minister for the First World War Centenary Programme, said:

“The First World War has many stories of heroism and sacrifice but few as moving as that of Edith Cavell. Her life is rightly commemorated with a fine statue in central London, of course. But this grant, from the fund we set up for refurbishing significant First World War graves, will underwrite the project, helping ensure her final resting place is restored in time for the centenary next year.”

Commenting on the HLF grant to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, Helen Grant continued, “the Trust will now be able to tell Edith Cavell’s story in a way that brings it alive for everyone and celebrates her courage and her extraordinary achievements.

"It will take this story around the country to help secure her legacy.”

This project will explore and share the many stories surrounding Cavell’s life and death: the use of her death as propaganda to drive allied recruitment; the ceremonial repatriation of her body to the UK in 1919; her work in Belgium during the war; the stories of those she helped save; and her role as a key figure in professionalising nursing in the early 20th century.

Spanning 18 months, local people and volunteers across the East of England, West Midlands and London will take part in a variety of activities exploring Cavell’s legacy; volunteers will undertake extensive research that will be shared through events and workshops. Local people will be able to take part in guided walks and heritage trails and a number of exhibitions will take place across the UK. Research and activities from the project will also feed into a dedicated website which will include images, newsreels and audio memories of decedents of those helped by Cavell.

Simon Knighton, Chairman of Cavell Nurses' Trust, added:

"In keeping with Edith Cavell's legacy we are providing welfare assistance and scholarship support to nurses all around the country. Our plans to increase public awareness of the history and values embodied by Nurse Edith Cavell herself will be of enormous assistance to the Trust and we are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this.”

If you'd like to find out more about Edith Cavell please take a look at our timeline or if you'd like to get in touch regarding our commemoration plans please email:

Payday lender to write off 330,000 loans

Cavell Nurses’ Trust have today welcomed the news that Payday loan company, Wonga, say they will write off £220m of debts for 330,000 customers whose loans would not have been approved under new affordability guidelines.

For all customers who are currently in excess of 30 days in arrears on their loans their balance will be written off. Alongside this decision, a further 45,000 customers who are between 0 - 29 days in arrears will not have to pay interest on their loans.

The short term lender who has come under much criticism in recent months, will contact the affected customers by 10th October 2014.

The decision follows talks with the Financial Conduct Authority regarding the lending practices of Wonga. As a result, new affordability checks will be introduced for all new customers to ensure that those taking on the loans can afford the repayments.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust is calling for all nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who may have taken out a payday loan through Wonga to consult their paperwork in anticipation of Wonga’s notification on the 10th October.

Jean Hayes, Welfare Services Manager commented “Cavell Nurses’ Trust are very pleased with this outcome. Many of the Trust’s beneficiaries who have used pay day loans have done so because they are already experiencing exceptional difficulties.

“Unfortunately, access to high interest payday loans, with ineffective or non-existent affordability checks are often too easy to obtain. We encourage beneficiaries to consider using their local Credit Union and if appropriate to seek free debt advice from agencies such as Stepchange.”

If you have any queries or questions regarding your loan please contact the Wonga helpdesk on 0207 138 8330.

If you are a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant who is in debt and in need of financial assistance and advice, we may be able to help you. Please contact us today or call 01527 595 999

Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Awards are now open!

Calling the brightest and most dedicated nursing and midwifery students of today!

We would like to invite you to apply for the Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Awards, which have now opened for 2014-15.

The awards, which provide travel scholarships of up to £2,000 for the winners, are aimed at recognising student nurses and midwives who go the 'extra mile'.

The five hotly-contested awards consist of the Edith Cavell Leadership Award, Outstanding Student Nurse, Outstanding Student Midwife, Academic Achievement Award, and Community Award.

The Edith Cavell Leadership Award comes with a travel scholarship worth £2,000, while all the others are valued at £1,500 each. There are also prizes of a laptop/tablet for a runner up in each category.

Our judging panel for 2014-15 is made up of top nursing and midwifery representatives from across the UK. They include Barbara Dahill, Acting Director of Research Management and Angela Parry, Director of Clinical Education both from KCL; Helen Whyley, Nursing Officer for the Welsh Government and Sarah Snow, Lead Midwife for Education and Programme leader at the University of Worcester, Stacy Johnson, Lecturer at University of Nottingham and Dr Rachel Sales, Acting Associate Head of Nursing and Midwifery at UWE.

Students can apply for the 2014-15 Scholarship Awards by visiting our Scholarship Award pages and completing a short application form for their chosen category

The deadline for entries Tuesday 9th December.

Why not catch up with our Scholarship Award Alumni and read their placement stories? You can also download our Scholarships poster to share with your department, colleagues and friends.

Premier Pensions go the extra mile for Cavell

Runners and cyclists from financial services company, Premier Pensions, took on two separate events this Summer to raise money for Cavell Nurses' Trust.

The British 10k London Run

On Sunday 13th July, 15 runners took part in the British 10k London Run on an iconic route around the capital taking in historical landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. 

This is the second year that Premier have entered a team into the race with many more team members signing up to join them for the 2014 race!

The team raised an amazing £2,010 and if you'd like to sponsor them, there is still time to do so by visiting their Virgin Money Giving Page.

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

On 10th August, eight cyclists from Premier battled their way through torrential rain and gales to complete the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey, the UK’s biggest–ever cycling sportive.

The weekend weather conditions were so severe that event organisers cut the route from the planned 100 miles. This meant that the team completed 87 miles and joined more than 20,000 other amateur cyclists to finish the route.

Despite the downpours, the two teams of four, finished together, with an all-women lead out on The Mall towards the finishing line.

Richard Cotton from Premier said: “It was a great day. We completed the route in 5 hours and 25 mins and averaged a speed of 15.5mph which was pretty good, considering the weather. We had a real spaghetti western day – the good, the bad and the ugly with light rain to start with, then a crescendo at the 50 mile point and finally, by Leatherhead it was sunny.”

The teams have so far raised over £1,000 for Cavell Nurses’ Trust and if you'd like to sponsor them, please visit their Virgin Money Giving Page.

We'd like to thank all the team members from Premier Pensions who have taken part in fundraising events for Cavell Nurses' Trust. Thanks to the generous donations from family, friends and colleagues we will be able to assist even more nurses facing financial difficulties across the UK. 

Edith commemorated with special £5 coin

The Royal Mint announced this weekend that it would be releasing a special £5 coin to commemorate 1st World War heroine Edith Cavell in 2015. The decision follows a successful online campaign by Sheffield Labour Councillor, Sioned-Mair Richards that reached over 103,000 signatures and was recently delivered by Sioned and members of the Cavell family to the Treasury. 

Our Chief Executive, Kate Tompkins hailed the decision as a ‘marvellous tribute’ after Cavell Nurses' Trust offered their backing to Sioned's campaign from the very beginning. 

Kate said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the decision taken by The Royal Mint to include Edith Cavell in the set of commemorative coins in the centenary year of her death. She really deserves to be remembered in this way.

"She was the ultimate heroine from a nursing perspective during the First World War. She gave her life for others."

“Her famous instructions to her nurses to care for every soldier, regardless of nationality, that they were somebody’s son, husband or father, shows the true extent of her care and compassion and her legacy is far reaching, through the nurses she trained and the descendants of the Allied soldiers whose lives she saved. She had a profound impact on history.”

Further details regarding design and release dates for the coin are yet to be released.

For further details of Edith Cavell's history please visit our History Timeline

Cavell Flag Returns from Afghanistan

A poignant flag ceremony took place on Armed Forces Day (28th June 2014) honouring the close partnership between Cavell Nurses’ Trust and staff at a nearby Army field hospital.

Our distinctive purple flag was flown over Camp Bastion in Afghanistan on Queen’s Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps Day earlier this year and was signed by nurses of 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital to commemorate the event.

At an official civic reception, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Shafique Shah, Commanding Officer Colonel Glynn Evans and Lieutenant Colonel Moira Kane, presented the flag back to the nursing charity.

Receiving the flag on behalf of our charity were Trustee and qualified nurse Deborah Critchley, and Trust Ambassador Albert Smith, a mental health nurse who received support and financial help from the charity.

Deborah said: “We are delighted to see the staff of 202 Field Hospital return home safely. They have done a brilliant job and we’re very proud of the ongoing relationship with Cavell Nurses’ Trust, as we share so many of the same values that were demonstrated by Edith Cavell. 

“Receiving the flag from Colonel Evans and Lieutenant Colonel Kane, at such a prestigious reception emphasises the significance of the event and the important links we maintain between the charity and the Army Medical Services.

“Our charity represents all nursing staff, working, retired, civilian and military and with the centenary year of the First World War just ahead of us, it’s a poignant time to remember all nursing staff over the last 100 years, and particularly those serving in the armed forces today.”

Albert, who received support from Cavell Nurses Trust which helped him return to work as a mental health nurse and is now forging a career as a stand-up comedian, said: “I was honoured to be invited to the flag ceremony and to represent the people who have benefited from the charity’s support. The nursing family is very widespread and it was a pleasure to meet the dedicated staff from the field hospital and hear about their working lives.

“I am so very grateful for the support which I was given by Cavell Nurses’ Trust. They helped me get back on my feet and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for their help. I now help raise funds for the Trust and I encourage anybody with a nursing connection to join me in doing the same.”

Colonel Evans is a consultant anaesthetist at Walsgrave Hospital, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Lieutenant Colonel Moira Kane (57), also from Coventry, was deployed as the senior nursing officer with the Field Hospital.

Moira said: “I am proud as a nurse to contribute to delivering nursing care to wounded personnel and civilians from all backgrounds. We treat our patients according to clinical need, just as Edith Cavell did nearly 100 years ago.”

The signed flag will now go on permanent display at the charity’s offices in Redditch.

Staff from 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital were honoured at the reception at Birmingham Central Library hosted by the Lord Mayor. They also took part in a parade through Birmingham city centre by military personnel to mark Armed Forces Day, at which they received their campaign medals for service in Afghanistan.

Celebrate the World Cup and Raise Money for Cavell

To celebrate the World Cup 2014 which kicks off on the 12th June, Belgian Restaurant, Leon de Bruxelles, is hosting special match screenings, food and drink offers and a World Cup Foosball Tournament. 

The restaurant, based on Cambridge Circus in Central London will be showing their love for their home team Belgium as well as England with two-for-one on Belgian beer cocktails and selected beers and wines which will be offered all day, every day whilst the Belgian Team are in the World Cup 2014.

Leon de Bruxelles is very kindly donating the proceeds from the Foosball Tournament to Cavell Nurses' Trust to support UK nurses, midwives and HCA's in financial need. Not only that, but the Tournament winner will win the Foosball table itself (pictured below)!

So, if you'd like to celebrate the World Cup 2014 in style with great food and cocktails whilst giving back to nurses and midwives across the UK why not pop down to Leon de Bruxelles!

To enter the Foosball Tournament please email John 

For more information or to book a table please visit:

Redditch Grandmother Puts Her Best Foot Forward in Fun Run

Determined Blanche Seymour wasn’t going to let an artificial hip and bad knees stand in the way of taking part in the Great Midlands Fun Run.

Blanche, aged 63, set off with 7,000 other entrants to tackle the 8.5 mile route around Sutton Coldfield and Sutton Park, in the West Midlands.

With the crowd completely behind her, Blanche managed to walk around three miles before the hot weather and exertion got the better of her.

“The support from people standing the route and clapping was brilliant and I’m so grateful that people cared enough to turn out. I was beginning to wilt and one family of spectators gave me an ice cream. That was so lovely of them.”

Blanche, who lives in Church Hill, has so far raised around £115 for Cavell Nurses’ Trust, which supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants across the UK during times of hardship and difficulty.

“I’m the cleaning lady at Cavell’s offices and really wanted to help them in any way I could. I admire Edith Cavell and it was the NHS that sorted me out and got me moving again. My replacement hip has given me a new lease of life and I wanted to thank the nurses who got me mobile.”

Blanche, a civil servant who also worked as an assistant to the editor at the Redditch Standard, is hoping Cavell Nurses will also raise funds at the St Andrew’s Church summer fete on June 14 at Church Hill Centre, her local church which she will be supporting by serving cream teas.

Redditch-based Cavell Nurses’ Trust has embarked on its biggest ever fundraising campaign with a target of £3 million by October 2015, the centenary of the death of Nurse Edith Cavell.

The charity has launched its Centenary Appeal aimed at doubling the number of people it supports. If you would like to donate money for Blanches' fundraising run or just make a general donation please click here.

Cavell Nurses' Trust Website Technical Issues

This is an information notice to let you know that over the May Bank Holiday weekend Cavell Nurses' Trust's website and external emails went through some technical difficulties which resulted in the website going down.   I am pleased to announce that the technical issues have been resolved and we are back to business as normal.  However if you have sent any emails over the weekend and have any concerns we may not have received them please could you resend the emails to us again.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Cavell Nurses' Trust appoints New Patrons

Two leading figures in the arts and entertainment industry have been appointed as Patrons to Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Leonard Pearcey and Peter Child, who are based in Bath, have joined the charity as it builds momentum for its Centenary fundraising appeal.

Next year is the centenary of the death of Edith Cavell, the courageous nurse who worked in Belgium during World War One. She helped hundreds of Allied soldiers escape and was subsequently court-martialled, found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was executed by a firing squad. The charity was set up in 1917 in the wake of massive public support.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust Chief executive Kate Tompkins said: “We are delighted Leonard and Peter have agreed to be Patrons of the Trust, especially given the growing awareness of the sacrifice she made during the Great War.

“Their extensive experience in promoting events and the obvious enthusiasm they demonstrate for our cause will help us build on Edith’s legacy and enable us to spread our message to as many people as possible during this important time in the charity’s development.”

The charity supports working and retired nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who have fallen on hard times and need financial, emotional and social support. The charity has launched its Centenary Appeal aimed at doubling the number of people it helps. This will mean raising £3 million by October 2015, the 100-year anniversary of Edith Cavell’s execution.

Leonard and Peter heard about the charity’s work and its links to Edith Cavell when they met Kate and her husband on an Orient Express Northern Belle journey between Bath and Sandringham last year.

Leonard said: “By the end of the journey we were fascinated to know more about this important figure in the war and were keen to support the aims of the Trust in positive and proactive ways.

“We're thrilled and honoured to be Patrons for the simple reason that the Trust works with nurses and midwives and those two professions touch every single life.

“As Patrons we hope to highlight the immensely valuable work it does in supporting members of the nursing profession and also in keeping Edith Cavell’s vision at the forefront of their work.”

Peter added: “We felt that the Trust’s vision for its future and the help it offers to all members of the nursing profession reflected values we could identify with and we hope to use our particular talents to help promote its cause.”

Peter, who is a casting director and member of BECTU, the media and entertainment union, has worked with Leonard on many joint projects including production of a wide range of events from major awards ceremonies in Grosvenor House London to P&O Naming Ceremonies worldwide, for the Radio Times and World Travel Market.

Leonard, a former Music Director at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, has been involved in numerous major arts and religious radio and TV programmes including BBC Radio 2 Young Musician competition, Book at Bedtime, Music Now, The Arts This Week and Songs of Praise. He is also a Director of Music at Leisure, President of the Bath Choral Society and serves on the Board of the Theatre Royal Bath.

Vote for Cavell Nurses' Trust and Help Us Win £2,000

Cavell Nurses' Trust have entered the Direct Debit Big Break competition for May 2014 where we have the chance to win up to £2,000 to help nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants across the UK who are struggling financially. 

We're calling on all of our friends and supporters to vote for us by visiting our special Direct Debit page and using your Facebook, Twitter or Google account to cast a vote for Cavell Nurses' Trust!

Supporters can also vote by text, by sending the code BIG BREAK 0617 to this number: 78866*

The charity with the highest number of votes will receive £2,000; the second highest number of votes will receive £1,000; and 20 runners up we will receive £100. 

The competition is up and running now and closes on May 31st so if you get the chance, please head over to: to vote for us!

* Text voting is only available to UK residents and will be charged at a standard message rate. Each person can register one vote by text message (per mobile phone number). For full details see Direct Debit Terms and Conditions.

Celebrating Midwives!

To celebrate International Day of the Midwife 2014, Liz Blamire, Winner of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Scholarship Award 2013, tells us about the themes of the day and why celebrating the work of midwives the world over is so important.

The International Day of the Midwife is an annual event and global campaign advocating for investment in midwives and midwifery to enhance the well-being of mothers and newborns. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) spearheads the day. The ICM supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 108 Midwives Associations, representing 95 countries across every continent. ICM is organised into four regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. Together these associations represent more than 300,000 midwives globally.

Midwives: Changing the world one family at a time

Midwifery led care directly impacts the health and well-being of mothers and babies. Women experience less preterm birth and assisted deliveries and experience a greater satisfaction with care. In the developing world when midwives are available more newborns survive and grow into healthy children and adults. Midwives can give vital information on family planning, child spacing and contraception. Meeting all unmet need for modern methods of contraception would reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths by 79,000. Of these deaths, 48,000 would be prevented in Sub-Saharan Africa

Midwives save lives! 

  • Approximately 290,000 women and over 3 million infants die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications. The death of a mother substantially increases the likelihood that her newborn child will die. Newborn deaths are usually linked to mothers’ health.
  • Up to two-thirds of maternal deaths could be averted if there was universal access to a well-educated, regulated midwifery workforce in a health system with adequate supplies.
  • Trained midwives can recognise and take action against life threatening complications in newborns. Midwives also provide education and support to mothers in infant feeding and ongoing care.

The World Needs Midwives Now More Than Ever

  • Millennium Development Goal 4 is to reduce child mortality:
    • 6 million children still die before their 5th birthday every year.
  • Millennium Development Goal 5 is to improve maternal health:
    • Only half of women in developing regions receive recommended healthcare in pregnancy.
    • Maternal mortality is still 15 times higher in developing regions than in developed regions.

Evidence shows that midwives are crucial to achieving the MDGs. However, there are not enough midwives to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by the year 2015. To ensure universal coverage for maternity care an estimated 350,000 midwives are needed.

Investing in midwives

Midwifery services are economic and cost effective and countries investing in midwives have seen huge improvements in maternal health. Global investment in midwifery education, as well as regulation, provision of infrastructure and information will improve access to midwifery care. Cathy Warwick the CEO of the Royal College of Midwives recently remarked to NursingTimes.Net that maternity care is “the earliest health intervention of them all.”

IDM 2014 Events

Events are being held all over the UK, Europe and beyond. Here is a small selection:

Northern Ireland
The students at Queen’s University Belfast are holding an evening reception to celebrate midwifery on Thursday 8th May. Details here.

The students at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen are holding a free one day conference on Monday 5th May. Details here.

The National Assembly for Wales is holding a networking event in celebration of international midwifery on Tuesday 6th May at the Senedd in Cardiff. Details here.

The Royal College of Midwives is holding a celebration of global midwifery at the Brunei Gallery, London on Wednesday 7th May. Details here.

The International Confederation of Midwives will hold its 30th Triennial Congress in Prague, 1st to 5th June 2014.

Thanks to a generous scholarship award from the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, I will be attending the ICM Congress to learn from and network with thousands of midwives from across the globe. On Saturday 31st May, I will take part in Voices of Midwives at a public park in Prague, a world record attempt to have the largest choir of midwives singing together, to raise awareness and encourage support for the work of midwives.

Snowdon Success!

On Saturday 26th 2014, we joined a team of 21 climbers for a sponsored climb of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, raising over an amazing £10,000 which will go to help UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants facing financial distress.

Our climbing team on the day comprised of staff from our corporate partner, Premier Pensions as well as trustees and staff from Cavell who fancied taking on the challenge to raise vital funds for Cavell Nurses' Trust. 

The weather reports were looking very uncertain for the day but despite a brief hail storm towards the top, all of our climbers managed to reach the summit to enjoy the breathtaking views over Snowdonia National Park and beyond.

On the way back down, climbers took the weight off their feet at Pen Ceunant Cafe and refueled with a buffet thanks to a donation made by Tesco Redditch.

As well as Tesco we'd like to say a big thank you to Morrisons, Redditch for supplying our climbers with energy drinks and water for the climb and Sainsbury's Redditch for donating energy bars for the climb. All of which were greatly appreciated by those taking part. 

Why not take a look at the photographs from the day by visiting our Pinterest or Facebook pages?

Susan Rows the Channel for Cavell

After almost 5 months of waiting for the perfect weather conditions, we are pleased to announce that our Trustees, Susan Gostick, has successfully rowed the English channel.

The team rowed 52 miles from Nieuwpoort, Belgium to Ramsgate in Kent in 13.5 hours. The weather was extremely kind to the rowers, who travelled passed the largest wind farm in the world en route. 

The team also had the opportunity to pose for this Oscars-inspired selfie to mark the occasion!

Susan and the team have raised over £8,400 so far and if you would like to support this amazing achievement please visit their JustGiving page.

Congratulations to Susan and all the team for their hard work in training and fundraising, hope you're all having a well deserved break now!

HRH The Princess Royal attends 3rd Scholarship Award Ceremony

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal was guest of honour at the 3rd annual Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Award Ceremony on the 19th March 2014 at Fishmonger's Hall, which marked the culmination of the prestigious 2013-14 Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Awards. 

The evening celebrated our 14 successful students, including 5 winners, 5 runners up and 4 highly commended nursing/midwifery students from across the UK. Each student was presented an award by a special guest including Chief Nurse, Jane Cummings, TV presenter, Dr Christian, RCM President, Prof. Lesley Page and Stagecoach founder and former nurse, Ann Gloag OBE.

Her Royal Highness presented the final award of the evening, the Edith Cavell Leadership Award, which comes with a travel scholarship worth £2,000, to adult nursing student Charlotte Johnston, who is studying at the University of Lincoln.

The other awards, which each carry a scholarship worth £1,500, went to:

  • Myra Ariyaratnam from Edinburgh University (Outstanding Academic Achievement Award)
  • Aisha Gaido from Anglia Ruskin University (Community Award),
  • Judith Jones from Salford University (Outstanding Student Midwife Award)
  • Joshua Kernohan from Birmingham City University (Outstanding Student Nurse Award).

The Princess Royal, in addressing the invited audience, said: "It is a pleasure to join you tonight, a really nice occasion for us all to be able to celebrate and congratulate our winners but to thank, particularly the Cavell Nurses' Trust for supporting the next generation of nursing leaders in Britain at such an important point in their careers.

"As we move into the centenary of the beginning of the First World War you wonder what on earth you are celebrating, but with Edith Cavell you have a lot to celebrate and the example she set and the way people responded to that."

Her Royal Highness said she was proud to be President of the charity's centenary appeal, adding: "The Trust feels this is an appropriate time to allow us to invest even more in the future of our young nurses and midwives. It is an entirely worthwhile aim of this kind of event which raises the profile of these young people ."

"If the Trust has the ability to support more of them, they can attract more people to the opportunity and support their ambitions and dreams for the future."

The Princess Royal also spoke about the "ethos" of Edith Cavell saying, "Edith Cavell had so little to work with but what a difference she made in the name of humanity. And that is something we really can afford to celebrate in the next few years.

"It is a story that touched people's lives across the world, not just here in Britain. And the Trust has a lot to celebrate and a lot to go for."

She then invited members of the audience to join next year's Mount Edith Cavell climb in Canada, "If you fancy a bit of extra exercise there is a mountain in Canada that bears Edith's name which the Trust hopes supporters will be climbing in the centenary year. But you don't have to go up a mountain. I'm sure there will be many other events to join in with and I'm sure you will."

HRH added: "I hope I will have the opportunity to follow the careers of these young people (from tonight). My thanks to those who have won today, but also the work of the Trust."

Birmingham Band Release Single for Cavell

Birmingham indie band, Johnny Foreigner have released their new single, Stop Talking About Ghosts, with all proceeds going to help current and former nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants in serious financial need.

Stop Talking About Ghosts was released on 3rd March via Bandcamp as a 'pay what you want' release, with all monies generated going to Cavell Nurses' Trust.

The single is taken from the band's fourth album, You Can Do Better, which is released on CD, glitter black vinyl and special A1 Map edition by Alcopop! Records on March 10th.

Frontman Alexei Berrow says: "political outrage aside, who wants to live in a world where the people who dedicate their lives to literally fixing us can even be allowed to get into debt.

"I can't think of a more noble profession than helping broken humans get better, and this seems the best practical and direct way we can help.

"So I hope our fans are as generous to them as they are to us."

Johnny Foreigner, who formed in the 1990's, joined Alcopop! Records four years ago. Their latest album has been 18 months in the making. The band are currently touring and fans can check their website: for tour dates.

Jack Pop, CEO of Alcopop! Records, said: "This is the first time we have done a charity single, with 100% of the profit going to Cavell Nurses' Trust.

"It's really nice to be able to use the album process to give something back and it's something we totally support

"Johnny Foreigner have been around for quite a while but there's lots of praise for this new album and they have a really good fan base who I'm sure will support this project."

The charity single is available to buy by visiting:, and their album which is out 10th March can be found at:

A Big Thank You to our Student Volunteers!

It's Student Volunteering Week (24th Feb – 2nd Mar 2014) and we’d like to say a huge thank you to all the student nurses and midwives who volunteer their time for our charity. The time they volunteer is invaluable and means that we can raise even more funds to help nurses, midwives and HCA’s who are in financial hardship.

Last year, Scholarship award winner, Katie Ball and runner up, Simon Nielson, alongside friends, Patricia Jones, Laurence Cheung and Katie Davis volunteered at the Lingfield Park Race Day last year, which was kindly hosted by Premier Pensions. Our student volunteers shook buckets in the crowd and encouraged guests to part with their winnings, resulting in over £3,000 being raised from the day!

As well as raising funds for Cavell, they also got to meet Olympic medal winner and TV presenter, Colin Jackson CBE who was a willing patient whilst Simon took his blood pressure.

We often have opportunities for volunteers to help us out at events like these. You don’t have to be a student or a nurse/midwife, anyone can help us out!

If you’d like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email

For more information please visit the Student Volunteering Week website

Loyd Becomes a Patron of the Trust

We are delighted to announce that Loyd Grossman OBE has been appointed as a Patron of Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Staff from Cavell first met Loyd when we were invited to be part of the audience for an episode of Food Glorious Food, celebrating Britain's emergency services.

Best known by the public as a television and radio broadcaster with an extensive knowledge of food and music, Loyd has joined our charity in the build up to our Centenary.

Our Chief Executive, Kate Tompkins commented: “We are delighted Loyd has agreed to be a Patron of the Trust, especially given our historical foundations with Edith Cavell and the growing awareness of the sacrifice she made during the Great War.

“Loyd’s vast cultural and heritage experience will help us build on her legacy and make it even more relevant to those working in today’s nursing profession.”

Supporting the Trust means a great deal to Loyd: “Edith Cavell was an important figure in the war whose humanity and compassion for the injured and sick on both sides of the conflict, shone through a very dark time in history and these qualities still have the power to inspire us today.

"As Patron of the Trust, I hope to highlight the immensely valuable work it does in supporting members of the nursing profession and also in keeping Edith Cavell’s vision at the forefront of their work.”

Alongside a long and varied media career, including programmes such as Through the Keyhole and MasterChef, Loyd is actively involved in a number of heritage and arts organisations throughout the UK.

In 1995, Loyd’s knowledge of, and fascination with food led him to create his own brand which became Britain’s most successful new premium food brand.

To read more about Loyd visit our Patrons page.

Curry and Comedy for Cavell

Albert Smith, a nurse who we were able to assist with a grant in 2012, is holding a stand-up comedy night in Birmingham on February 12th in aid of Cavell Nurses' Trust.

Albert was put in touch with us 18 months ago when he lost his job and his mental health deteriorated. We were able to assist Albert with single grants totalling £476, some of which paid for his vital NMC registration fee so he could carry on working as a bank nurse. We also granted a regular weekly payment of £30 to help with general living expenses.

Albert is now rebuilding his life with the help of his new role as a stand-up comedian. He has also started up his own artisan bakery, while managing to work a handful of hours a week as an agency nurse.

Albert says, "Now that Cavell Nurses' Trust has helped me I want to give something back, which is why I am putting on this comedy night in aid of them."

To purchase tickets for the Comedy and Curry evening please visit: