What a lovely morning to take part in the Women Walk the World event for the Associated Country Women of the World! It is an inspiring idea that people as far away as Papua New Guinea will set off to walk at 10am their time and, across the world, others will start walking at 10am as the sun catches up with them. A small group of seven and a dog left Hillesden at 10am this morning and enjoyed a walk through the countryside in sunshine and among daffodils. There were quite a few other groups of WI members walking in Bucks at the same time so a tidy sum will be raised from sponsorship to support ACWW. It's the least we can do after May Kidd's inspirational talk at the April Council Meeting in Aylesbury last week.
The NFWI has been doing a lot of work on the 2012 mandate passed at the Annual General Meeting at the Albert Hall . All members have been kept informed through the WI Life:we were asked to fill in a survey and to send up information on local experience of the midwifery services so that a cross-country report could be produced. We were asked to contact our MPs and Health Bodies to express our concerns about the shortage of midwives and the need for more to be trained.All the Bucks MPs received letters in readiness for the lobby planned for 3rd May to coincide with the publication of the report.I was very pleased to be able to join two other members of Winslow WI to meet with the Speaker, John Bercow at his surgery in Buckingham.He was interested in the campaign and supportive and has promised to do what he can to help the WI. After all he is a father of three young children so hasn't forgotten the benefits of the caring role of a fully trained midwife.Hospital targets in some parts of the country put mothers under pressure to hasten birth, resulting in 38% of births being induced and the rate of emegency caesarean section can vary from 20% in some hospitals to 40% in others.An experienced midwife giving one-one attention can avoid a lot of distress to the mother and save the NHS money on costly unnecessary medical intervention.
Given a sensible straightforward mandate with which to work, the WI can make a difference:it has the clout to force the Government to look at a problem.