UNICEF gold award for UCLan

11 March 2021

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has become only the third university to receive a special UNICEF award.

UCLan has been awarded the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Achieving Sustainability Gold Award for Universities.

In addition, it is the first higher education institution to achieve the recognition for the midwifery and health visiting programmes simultaneously.

The award supports the sustainability of infant feeding and relationship building education within the health visiting and midwifery programmes. It also provides a broader approach to support good practice in infant feeding across the University.

Dr Debbie Kenny, Head of the School of Community Health & Midwifery, said: “I am so proud of the staff and students who have worked tirelessly over many years to help us achieve this fantastic success. We are excited for the future and what this means for the University as a whole as we are always looking at ways to progress and ultimately improve health outcomes for families.”

The assessment involved two days of interviews with students and staff and Debbie added: “The lead assessor commented she had never assessed a University before where the values of the team, students and University were so much in line with those of the UNICEF Baby Friendly particularly in kindness and compassion. That recognition is wonderful as it acknowledges the fantastic job we’re doing at training the next generation of caring midwives and health visitors.”

To help to achieve this award, the midwifery and health visiting academics have worked to ensure that infant feeding and relationship building is embedded throughout the curriculum for midwifery and health visiting students.

In turn, all senior staff across the University have been supported to undertake specific training in order to support both students and returning staff who are feeding their babies.

The University also has dedicated breastfeeding facilities based at various locations across the campus.

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