We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Gillian to the team and we’re really looking forward to working alongside her.
Gillian is arriving at an exciting time for Mummy’s Star and she will help to take us into the next phase of our development. Gillian brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge that we know will be invaluable to our services, the team and our board.
Commenting on the appointment our CEO/Founder Pete Wallroth said,
‘We are absolutely delighted that Gillian has agreed to join the board of our unique and special charity as we prepare to make that next step up after 5 years of operation. She brings with her a huge amount of experience both in midwifery, leadership, partnership working and international work, which the charity will benefit from in a number of ways. We are still a young charity, still learning and still adapting with every new mum who gets in touch and we believe that Gillian joining the board will help us to shape our support as we continue to grow, while maintaining the highly personalised nature of what we strive to provide our families.’
Gillian Smith added,
‘I am delighted to be joining this amazing charity. From the moment it came on my radar I was hooked and wondered why we had not been doing something like this before. It is sad that it takes life changing illness for us to recognise change is needed. I am excited about joining the team at Mummy’s Star at such a crucial point in their continuing development and although I have warned them I won’t be running any marathons or climbing any mountains my commitment to taking this charity forward will be no less than those who already give tirelessly of their time and energies.’
Gillian has a passion for supporting and working with charities which have a midwifery focus. Until 2017, she was a trustee of the Smalls for All charity which collects bras and pants for Sub Saharan Africa. Gillian is honoured and humbled to be a Patron of the Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA) which supports women and families who have suffered from the loss of a baby to create memories. Gillian is on the committee for the Butterflies charity which raises money for charities in Scotland which support those going through their cancer journey. Gillian is dedicated and committed to all the charities she is involved with.
However, her real passion is all things midwifery and believes in encouraging midwives to show their full potential. She strongly believes in their dedication and passion and feels safe in the knowledge that midwifery really does have women and families at the centre of what they do. Gillian trained first as a nurse and then as a midwife. She thought she would consolidate her midwifery training for a year but some 40 years later her passion has not diminished. She has a passion for international work, which she believes started following a three-year secondment to the Sultanate of Oman in the mid to late eighties. While there she helped birth many babies several twins and babies by breech but considers one of the most exciting experiences delivering triplets vaginally, who were all beautiful healthy girls. Her time in Oman held many firsts one being that she was the first person to carry out ultrasound on pregnant women in the South of Oman.
This passion for international work has led to opportunities to host midwives from Malawi and Nepal and was part of the RCM Global Midwifery THET programme and visited Kathmandu and addressed the first ever conference held by the Midwifery Society of Nepal.
As well as nursing and midwifery qualifications Gillian has an Advanced Diploma in Midwifery, BA in Health Studies and a Masters in Industrial Relations. She worked with the Royal College of Midwives until she retired in December 2016, first as an Employment Relations Officer and latterly as Director of the RCM in Scotland. Gillian has sat on the Employment Appeals Tribunal in the UK since 2003. In 2014 Gillian was awarded an MBE for Services to Midwifery and Partnership in Scotland and in the same year was also awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor from the University of the West of Scotland. Gillian has worked with Birthsparks for several years visiting China with the CEO last year. As part of this, she is the Chair of the annual MaMa Conference which has an international audience and held in Scotland. She is also on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Midwifery and one of their reviewers for publication. Until recently she was on the FGM National Clinical Forum and has given evidence to the Scottish Parliament on this issue. She was also heavily involved with the Maternity and Neonatal Review in Scotland and looks forward to the implementation of this. Gillian has worked with Dr Jacque Gerrard on behalf of the RCM surrounding bullying and undermining behaviour, she was delighted to present on this at the European Midwives Association Conference in 2016 and had a poster presentation at the ICM in Toronto in 2017.
On a personal note, Gillian values friends and family and married Roy in 2006, after years of being as she would put it ‘an unclaimed treasure’, she inherited a ready-made family including a beautiful grand-daughter and is now made complete by her beloved Dougal the dog.