Bedford student midwife shortlisted for top awards

Chelsea Beckford-Procyk
Chelsea Beckford-Procyk

A third-year University of Bedfordshire midwifery student has been nominated in two top categories in this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards.

Bedfordian Chelsea Beckford-Procyk, who is on a placement at Bedford Hospital, is in her final year of studying BSc (Hons) Midwifery.

She’s been shortlisted in the ‘Student Midwife of the Year’ category and the ‘Mary Seacole Award’ which recognises students’ outstanding contribution to diversity and inclusion.

Chelsea joined the University’s Midwifery course in 2019 and was put on placement at Bedford Hospital as part of her studies.

She also helps to train hypnobirthing instructors and runs independent workshops for fellow student midwives and birth workers.

“I’m extremely proud and very humbled to have been shortlisted,” said Chelsea. “I have had some lovely messages from the midwifery teaching staff from the University who have always been very encouraging of my extra-curricular projects.

“I hope that by shining a light on the work that I’m doing, this will encourage other students to find their voice and speak up about the issues that matter to them.

“Not only that but I hope this also gets people talking about the ways in which we can work towards improving maternal health disparities for Black, Asian and ethnic minority women and birthing people in the UK.”

Kate Washington, Lecturer in Midwifery with the School of Society, Community & Health, has commended Chelsea on her nomination.

“Chelsea is an excellent student – very professional, respectful and passionate about midwifery,” she said.

“She has also worked hard throughout the pandemic in practice which has set her up to become a great health worker upon graduating.

“We’re all very proud to hear of her successful nominations in the Student Nursing Times Awards and wish her all the best ahead of the results.”

Blk Mum to Midwife

Chelsea has also been a champion of promoting anti-racism in maternity care, having an article published in The Practice Midwife Journal, speaking at a global conference for International Day of the Midwife, and running a podcast and blog called ‘Blk Mum to Midwife’.

Speaking during Bedfordshire’s ‘Proud To Be Black’ campaign for Black History Month, Chelsea said: “I hope to inspire aspiring student midwives from the Black community to pursue their dreams.

“I’m incredibly passionate about the decolonisation of midwifery education and the importance of anti-racism in maternity care. I hope to become not only a top-notch midwife but also a respected leader and force for change.”

Once she’s completed her degree, Chelsea looks forward to becoming a full-time midwife and hopes to one day become an infant feeding specialist.

The Student Nursing Times Awards 2022 say they aim to bring together the nursing community to shine a light on the brightest talent making their way into the profession.

Winners will be announced at a finalist ceremony in London on 27 May.

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