Neighbourhood Midwives

Our Midwives

Neighbourhood Midwives was conceived and developed by midwives to offer a unique service which benefits both women & midwives.

Our private service is available across London and in the surrounding counties including parts of Surrey, Kent, Berkshire and Hampshire and our aim is to establish more Neighbourhood Midwives' practices throughout the country.

Here you can take a look at our midwives and the team that supports them. Please give any one of us a ring if we cover your area and you would like to find out more about us or to organise a free consultation.

Our private service is available across London and in the surrounding counties including parts of Surrey, Kent, Berkshire and Hampshire and our aim is to establish more Neighbourhood Midwives' practices throughout the country.

Alongside our private practice, we are working towards being commissioned to provide our care within the NHS. Our passionate ambition is to enable the choice of a high quality, safe and sustainable caseload midwifery service to be available for all women, regardless of their ability to pay.

We are an employee-owned midwifery mutual where every employee has a say in how we develop through ‘one member one vote’ and representation at board level. We are also a recognised social enterprise – which means we are a business with a clear social aim, who commits any surplus we make back into helping the business grow and achieve that social aim.

Take a look at our team biographies below to meet the people involved.

Midwives

Cheryl Opimo-Fisher

To say that I am passionate about my vocation is an understatement. I never cease to be amazed and humbled by the miracle of the human body and women’s natural ability to birth and nurture their babies. I am constantly reminded of the sheer honour to be a part of this precious, intimate and life-affirming period of a new family’s beginning. It is the very essence of why I am a midwife.

Aside from having my two gorgeous sons, who are amazing, the next best thing I’ve ever done is to train as a midwife, initially in South Africa, where midwifery is highly medicalised, and more recently, retraining in the UK where I experienced the world of woman-centered care for the first time.

After two years as a homebirth midwife, I have gravitated to Neighbourhood Midwives as they offer me an unparalleled opportunity to bond with women and their families from day one, and to see them right through to the joyous end. I have always strived to empower women to achieve the birth they want through education, care and support. Pregnancy and birth is not just a physiological event. It is a life changing, emotional roller-coaster for each individual woman. As the word ‘midwife’ derives from the Nordic phrase ‘with woman’, my job is to truly be with her!

I live in West Drayton, part of the London Borough of Hillingdon, west of London, and roughly cover all areas from Windsor to Richmond and Watford to Cobham. To find out if I am the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07866 899290 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Jill Hutchings

I began my journey as a midwife 18 years ago. It was a hugely proud moment and one of my greatest achievements along with the birth of my two sons.

My passion is supporting women through the most extraordinary journey of their lives as they make the transition to parenthood. I feel very privileged to have shared so many journeys as a caseload midwife within the NHS. My last role was as a community coordinator supporting women and midwives and a dedicated team of maternity support workers to provide breastfeeding support and advice and continuity during the early days and weeks with the new families in Southampton

I believe in continuity of carer and the importance of empowering women to make choices that are right for them. I feel passionate that all women should be able to have continuity of a midwife they know and trust who is their advocate and guide to enable them to give birth to a healthy baby in a safe and satisfying way in the place of their choice.

I feel very excited now to be joining such a passionate team of midwives working with Neighbourhood midwives and look forward to sharing many more journeys with the women and families in my care

I am also a keen walker and support many charities and hope later this year to walk 100km along the Thames Path as part of action challenge to raise money and awareness.

I currently cover Hampshire, the M3 corridor, South London and South East London areas. To find out if I might be the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07471904670 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Natalie Shearman

Being a midwife is without doubt the best job in the world. It never ceases to amaze me the strength a woman has, in mind and body, to grow, nurture and birth her baby. It is truly a privilege to be part of this journey and witness it first-hand.
Pregnancy, through to birth, and beyond to early motherhood is a magical time for women and their families, but it can also be daunting. Having a midwife who is known to you, whom you can build a trusting relationship with and receive continuity of care from, will give you the confidence and reassurance to enable you to have a positive birth experience. This is something I am very passionate about, and believe the fundamental elements for a positive experience are supporting, educating and empowering women. The word 'midwife', in Old English, means 'with woman' and it is this core aspect that I always strive for, along with an holistic approach to the care I provide.
Having spent some time working in the NHS, I began searching for an alternative way of working that would enable me to work closely alongside women and offer true continuity of care, and with Neighbourhood Midwives I can do just that.
I am passionate about normal birth, and supporting you in your chosen place of birth, wherever that may be. I have experience with water births and in using Aromatherapy, and have a keen interest in other complementary therapies.

I cover West and North West London. To find out if I might be the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07585 129175 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

 

Nicky Harris

I have been a midwife for 27 years. A year after qualifying my husband Chris and I had the first of four lovely children: one hospital birth and the other three at home.

I have worked both in the NHS and independent sectors, within hospitals and the community – and even in Egypt! Mostly though, I have worked in the community providing homebirth care.

The name “midwife” means “with woman” and I absolutely love this core aspect of midwifery. It’s a privilege to journey with a woman and her family through this important passage of life.

My passion is supporting women and babies through the postnatal period. Although this is a crucial part of a family’s experience, it has often been a neglected part of midwifery care. I am thrilled that with Neighbourhood Midwives, I can provide continuity and effective care for women and their families to give the best start in their journey into parenthood.

In 2013 I qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) which is the gold standard for breastfeeding support. I believe every woman should have access to skilled breastfeeding support, from birth, to optimise the experience for those who choose to breastfeed.

In my spare time, I have an allotment, love gardening and am involved in lots of activities at church.

I am mainly available for postnatal care packages and breastfeeding support. The area I cover is South London. To find out if I am the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07935435903 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Rachel Hasell

I get so much satisfaction supporting women and their families through their journey into parenthood, whether it's welcoming their 1st or their 5th baby. Every family, pregnancy and birth is unique and precious. It is such a joy and privilege to be part of these journeys; I can't imagine doing anything else. After 9 years as a midwife, I still am in awe of the birthing process and the strength of the women I care for.

I am a keen advocate of continuity of care and the positive benefits it has for women and babies. Having a midwife that you really know and trust makes a huge difference. I am passionate about supporting women to have safe, positive birth experiences, empowering them to feel calm and confident in their individual birth choices.

At home I have two children and a very patient husband. I experienced caseload care with both my births, and it inspired me to become a caseloading midwife. My first child arrived bottom first by caesarean and my second child was born in the pool at home. Although my births were very different, having the continuous support of an experienced midwife from start to finish really helped us feel relaxed and empowered. This is the type of care that all women deserve.

I cover South London, SE London, Croydon & Bromley. To find out if I am the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07866 900 659 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Rene Bozier

I ran my own successful independent midwife practice in South East London for nine years before joining Neighbourhood Midwives, with many clients returning again...and again...and again! I continue to practise as a midwife (162 babies and counting!) and am thrilled to be involved in the development of Neighbourhood Midwives in my position as Employee Director.

I particularly enjoy providing support & guidance to student midwives as they make the transition into fully fledged practitioners. Employee ownership is a new way of working for midwives and I believe a very exciting time for the profession as a whole. When I'm not working I like spending time with my four children and seven grandchildren (five of whom I delivered) and my three dogs (none of whom I delivered!)

I cover South East London and North West Kent. To find out if I might be the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07585 129055 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Sarah Horner

I don't remember the precise moment I first knew I wanted to be a midwife: Midwifery is just something that I always remember being drawn to. I was endlessly curious as a child, always asking questions about anything and everything, and I remember being particularly fascinated by babies (and where they came from, much to the exasperation of my parents). That fascination continues to this day, as I love learning about both new developments and research in the understanding of pregnancy, as well as traditional knowledge which we are only now coming to realise has significant value.

My core belief, and the foundation of my midwifery practice, is that pregnancy and birth are normal life events that deserve awe and respect. I am continually amazed by the power of women- mind and body- and I do everything I can to help those that I care for to recognise and trust that power. From that, you can probably tell that I'm passionate about normal birth, but I'm also incredibly passionate about the journey of pregnancy, birth and motherhood being a positive experience- however that journey unfolds. I truly believe that positivity in birth comes from knowledge and trust existing between women, their bodies, and the people that care for them.

Since completing my training, I have worked in the NHS as a caseloading midwife, but when the opportunity to become a Neighbourhood Midwife arose, I knew I had to take it. I am passionate about the NHS, but being a Neighbourhood Midwife gives me the opportunity to be the midwife I always dreamed of being. I am so excited to be working with such a wonderful, supportive team of like-minded Midwives to be able to practice true continuity of care!

I cover North London. To find out if I am the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07584 994 201 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Sharon Gamon

I see my midwifery qualification as one of the proudest achievements in my life, along with the birth of my five children! I have been a midwife since 2005 and feel hugely privileged to have been the guardian to many a new life coming into this world, including my seven gorgeous grandchildren. I am a passionate midwife who believes that every woman's journey is hers to own.

I am only here to guide and support her and to provide personalised care, tailored to the individual needs of each woman and her family. I feel truly blessed every time I am invited to share the wonderful journey into parenthood with a couple. Neighbourhood Midwives is an amazing organisation to be a part of and we all believe that every woman should have the choice to birth "her baby, her way" in a safe and calm environment.

I live near Southampton but travel up to London for part of the week and cover South West London and the M3 corridor. To find out if I might be the right midwife for you, give me a ring on 07866 899763 for an initial chat and to arrange a free consultation.

Central Support Team

Annie Francis

I have been a qualified midwife for over 17 years, starting my midwifery course in the same month as my youngest son Arthur started school. My husband Peter and I have four children, all now in their 20s. Three of them were born at home with the same midwife and the care Caroline gave me and my family over those years was my inspiration for becoming a midwife - that same continuity lies at the heart of everything we offer here at Neighbourhood Midwives.

Like every other member of our team, I am passionate about providing a safe, personalised service for you, your partner and your baby from the moment you book with us. As CEO, my lifelong ambition and goal is for the model of care that Neighbourhood Midwives offers to become a real choice for all women having a baby in the UK, regardless of their circumstances. In March 2015 I was honoured to be invited to be a member of the National Maternity Review recently announced by NHS England.

Cathy Walton

I trained as a midwife in the 1980’s, working at first in hospitals but soon moved into community settings. Knowing your midwife and being able to build a relationship with women through continuity has always been important to me and I see it as the optimum way to be a midwife.

I have worked in continuity models, including the Albany Midwifery group Practice, for 15 years, caring for women planning birth at home or in hospital. This was the highlight of my career in many ways as it was such a delight and honour to be with women on their pregnancy journey and to support them through the birth and afterwards. Birth is such a special and magical event.

I was a consultant midwife at King’s College Hospital for 10 years, the best part of which for me was helping women to understand their previous difficult births and how they might have a more positive experience next time.

Now, in my role as Governance and Quality Lead for Neighbourhood Midwives, I have the opportunity to support an organisation dedicated to making a caseloading model available to women, by ensuring that it has robust governance and that midwives are supported to do what they do best.

I have 2 children, both born at home and live in Hampshire.

Charlotte Cool

As the non-executive Director and Chair, I've been privileged to be involved in the development of the culture and governance of Neighbourhood Midwives, acknowledging their strong commitment to shared ownership whilst delivering the highest quality of personalised care.

In my day job, I run the advocacy team at John Lewis Partnership and have spent many years championing the positive benefits of employee ownership for private and public organisations, something I have now been able to share with the team here at Neighbourhood Midwives. My father was an obstetrician and my mother a paediatrician, so babies have always been a passion in my family and I now have three gorgeous young children of my own.

Eleanor May Johnson

I was fascinated by pregnancy and birth as an teenager but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my third daughter that I decided I would train to become a midwife. I graduated from Bournemouth University in 2003 and have been a caseload midwife ever since, both in the NHS and the independent sector. I am still as passionate about midwifery as ever and it is my great privilege to share the journey through pregnancy, birth and into parenthood with the women and families I care for.

As clinical co-ordinator at Neighbourhood Midwives, I work closely with all the midwives within our organisation. My role includes supporting and advising them on their clinical practice, as well as being involved in the operational running & IT provision for Neighbourhood Midwives. I am also responsible for Information Governance and act as our Caldicott Guardian. It is my aim to make the care we provide available to all women.

Lucy Duncan

I am not a midwife, but my mother is and so I have been surrounded by midwives for most of my life. I have witnessed time and time again, how much better pregnancy and birth can be for a woman when she knows the midwife guiding and assisting her through pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks of motherhood, especially when things don’t go to plan.

I am the administrator Neighbourhood Midwives. I studied Chinese for my BA and, following this, did an MA in medical anthropology with a particular focus on childbirth.

Tina Perridge

Becoming a midwife at the age of 40 was like beginning a new life for me. For the pregnancy and birth of my fourth child, I had been looked after by an independent midwife and the experience was life changing. 17 years later and my family have all embraced the life of a midwife and are just as passionate as I am about Neighbourhood Midwives.

For me, it is all about the women, ensuring that each one feels supported and nurtured, so they can relax and enjoy their pregnancy, safe in the knowledge that their midwife will be with them every step of the way. As part of the Central Support Team, I am responsible for our company culture and finance but most of all, for making sure that the women we care for, and the midwives in our team, have the best possible experience - that’s what gets me up in the morning!

Having Neighbourhood midwives as our advocate throughout the labour and post-natal eased the process so much.

Lizzie

You affect peoples lives in such a positive and empowering way.

Hayley

The post natal care from Annie and Sharon was superb. It made a huge difference to my recovery to have continuity of care from midwives so knowledgeable and empathetic. It's just as important as 1 to 1 care in pregnancy

Sally