On Friday 1st March Wey Valley Academy was privileged to hear from local midwife and writer Anna Kent. Anna is a humanitarian aid worker, an NHS nurse and midwife who has cared for others in challenging circumstances across the world. Anna has written and published several books about her experiences including Frontline Midwife: My Story of Survival and Keeping Others Safe  and Frontline Midwife: Finding Hope in Life Death and Birth.

The talk held in the Library at Wey Valley was delivered with passion, gravitas and gusto to a group of Year 10 and 11 students studying Health and Social Care at the school . Anna Kent exclaimed ‘ Everyone deserves access to healthcare no matter where they are. I was deeply affected by Live Aid as a child and the images of starving children ‘. Kent also noted how immersing herself in nature  has helped her to practice mindfulness and remaining calm in stressful situations throughout her work.

Kent discussed her career with the class and after completing a diploma in tropical nursing, she joined Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in 2007, where she flew out to South Sudan to work as an outreach nurse ‘I went to South Sudan as a trained nurse’ she said. ‘I was an outreach nurse , in a place that had seen fifty years of civil war ‘.During her time as a nurse she witnessed one woman who had walked for nine days to reach the centre where Anna was based-having no access to a midwife closer to where she lived – and Anna said she was at a dangerous point in labour.

At the end of the presentation the students asked an eclectic range of questions in order to find out more about her life as a midwife. One student said, ‘the session has really inspired me to consider becoming a midwife in the future – I thought that the talk was aspirational, raw, emotive and centred around experiences’. Head of Performing Arts and Teaching and Learning Challenge Lead, Mark Chutter commented ‘my thanks to Anna Kent for this inspiring talk today and please do buy and read Frontline Midwife as it is beautifully crafted and written – this was such a powerful opportunity for our students wanting to work for the NHS and beyond’.

To read the Dorset Echo article click here