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UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award Celebbrated at a special reception hosted by Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council


Celebrating The Gold Award For Hospital And Community

Our commitment to the effective promotion of breastfeeding was recognised and celebrated at a special event recently hosted by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council at the Guildhall, Derry/Londonderry.

Altnagelvin’s Maternity and Derry/Limavady and Strabane Health Visiting Services have received the Baby Friendly Award Gold from UNICEF recognising the commitment of both maternity and health visiting staff across the Western Trust area in supporting families.


Peer Support Mothers

The Baby Friendly Initiative accredits maternity facilities and community services that adopt internationally recognised standards in the care of mothers and babies. To achieve this, health professionals ensure parents are supported to make fully informed choices about how they feed their babies.

Western Trust Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Donna Keenan accredited this achievement to the local maternity and health visiting teams she said:

“The Western Trust promotes breastfeeding as the healthiest way for a mother to feed her baby and recognises the important benefits of breast milk for both the mother and her child. Western Trust staff have dedicated a huge amount of time and hard work to the implementation of this initiative over the past number of years.

Midwifery Team Celebrating The Gold Award For Hospital And Community“We are deeply passionate about supporting parents and families and delighted to be recognised for our commitment in leading the way in breastfeeding practice for the population across the Western Trust geography.  This accreditation along with this year’s successful Gold reaccreditation for the Southern Sector of the Trust covering the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area is a credit to the dedication and commitment of our staff.

“Western Trust staff have shown great commitment to the implementation of the Baby Friendly Initiative and continue to provide high quality services to local families along with consistent messages about the importance of infant feeding.  It is our aim within the Western Trust to ensure that all mothers have appropriate information and knowledge regarding breastfeeding to make informed decisions about feeding their baby.”

UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Deputy Programme Director, Anne Woods said, “”We are delighted that Altnagelvin Hospital’s Maternity and Health Visiting Services has achieved the Baby Friendly Achieving Sustainability Gold Award. Our work to support breastfeeding is based on extensive and resounding evidence that breastfeeding saves lives, improves health and cuts costs in every country worldwide, rich and poor alike. Parents at Western Health and Social Care Trust can be confident that their midwives/health visitors will provide high standards of care.”

Mum Deirdre said:

Derry City And Strabane DC Mayor Speaking At The UNICEF Gold Award Event

“I was feeling a bit stressed and was really reassured by Brona McSorley, the Trust’s Community Infant Feeding Lead. I felt relieved after speaking with her as she reassured me my baby was doing great and was getting enough breastmilk and doing very well so there was nothing for me to worry about. I had noticed a drop in my supply and Brona was able to give me some very useful tips which have definitely helped.”

Mum Helen said:

Health Visiting Team Leads“I had great support from everyone in the Trust; from the hospital, the hub, my own health visitor and the breastfeeding support team. They all were willing to call out to my home, and they did this on numerous occasions!”