The Secret Community for Midwives in the Making is bigger than I ever thought it would be.
It's a support group for midwives, students and aspiring midwives. We have a phenomenal moderator team and many members find all kinds of support for the challenging midwifery journey.
When Jules, one of our moderators linked me to a charity that provides midwives in the developing world with bikes, my ears perked up.
Bikes are the perfect pragmatic vehicle. Did you know they were instrumental in giving women new horizons when they were introduced into the UK around the 1880s?
They meant women could get around without asking men for permission and raised the tantalising possibility of women being able to wear trousers.
By the 1890s they became associated with the suffragette movement (there's some hilarious propaganda from that time that suggests bikes might be sexually stimulating for women, how exciting!!)
I always biked to work as a midwife and know many others who do the same. I've even done on call on a bike and you wake up fast when you pedal.
It's an amazing way of scheduling exercise and thinking time around shift work. Cycling to and from the hospital was like a buffer between midwifery and home and sometimes you really need that.
Now bikes are being used by midwives in developing countries to get midwives to women in labour or to give other care.
I spoke to the nice ladies on the phone at the Charities Advisory Trust and they've been raising money for bikes for midwives in countries like India, Africa and Malawi for 14 years.
This is so these fierce, amazing midwives often working in desperate circumstances can get to the women.
I believe we're all connected and we're connected to other midwives even more. Once you've worked as a midwife you share the same experiences and understandings. It's just these midwives don't have the same opportunities as those in the UK or other developed countries.
We'd love for you to be involved with our Christmas fundraising because you'll end up feeling like you can do something - and you can, it might seem like a small thing but it's enormously powerful.
Kind of like a bike 🙂
We're suggesting no more than a £2 donation as we'd like for as many of us to be involved as possible.
It's our way of getting beyond boundaries like race or circumstances and having our compassion transcend all that.
We don't usually do fundraising in the Secret Community, not because we're mean, but because we found the group quickly gets flooded with charity posts and voices can't be heard.
But this special Christmas fundraising project is something the Secret Community members voted for, which I think is amazing.
The fundraising page can be found here: Bikes For Midwives
As always, thanks for reading! And if you can think of someone who'd like to hear about our Christmas project, please do share it with them.
P.S. Christmas is a time of giving but if you're like most aspiring, student or qualified midwives, you'll likely have a lot of responsibilities over December.
I hate it when I'm feeling overwhelmed and then someone tries to cheer me up by saying 'well you only have first-world problems'...and then you end up with pressure and responsibility and a side order of guilt too! Of COURSE you're grateful for what you have. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard.
What I'm saying is I believe all pain is relative and valid so please be kind to yourself. I hope you have a joy filled and peaceful run-up to Christmas.