A group of colleagues from Birmingham Women’s Hospital has gone beyond the call of duty for its women and their families after tackling the highest mountain in Wales and raising over £2,500 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity.

The 20-strong group included midwives, staff from the hospital’s Education Resource Centre and three of their family members, who all challenged themselves to climb Mount Snowdon to raise money for the charity’s £3.5 million Woodland House Appeal, to bring a brand new, stand-alone bereavement centre to the hospital for parents and families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss.

As a specialist centre and one of only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK, Birmingham Women’s Hospital cares for over 2,000 grieving mums and dads every year who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. Currently heart-breaking and life changing conversations often take place in spaces in the hospital that don’t reflect the significance of a family’s loss, and grieving parents often talk about feeling rushed.

Spending the majority of their shifts working within and around the main maternity unit at the hospital, the colleagues care for many of the bereaved families and have seen first-hand the desperate need to improve facilities to align with the high standard of care they work so passionately to provide.

Mollie Vittoria, a midwife at the hospital, instigated the idea to set up a fundraiser, and brought the group together, who all wanted to do their part in making Woodland House a reality. On the day, the brave group jumped in a coach, generously put-on for free by Travel SOS Birmingham, and made their way to Snowdon. They decided to tackle the Pyg Track – a medium-difficulty route – however the weather wasn’t on their side, and they faced lashing rain and blazing winds. Nevertheless, the determined colleagues ploughed on and reached the summit in three and a half hours.  

Sumaya Bibi, midwife at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, said: “We’re like a big family at the Women’s Hospital and having that first-hand experience of caring for bereaved families really spurred us on to support the appeal and do all we can to make Woodland House a reality. That sense of camaraderie served us well on the climb too, as although many of us had different climbing abilities, we never left anyone alone and reached the top together.

“We are simply blown away by the support we’ve received from other colleagues, our families, friends and patients too. To raise more than £2,500 is more than we had hoped for.” 

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “Woodland House will provide a safe-haven for our families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss. Somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the busy wards, where they can take precious time to share with their loved ones, before they feel ready to face the world again. They staff members know just how important that is, and the difference it will make to their patients, so we really appreciate the efforts – and heights – the team went to, to raise money for Woodland House.”

The staff members included Mollie Vittoria, Sumaya Bibi, Ericka Buckley, Tracey Bond, Sarah Evans, Sozan Nadir, Jayne Weller, Chloe Mann, Hannah Thompson, Jessica Gregory, Vicki Stroud, Katy Mathieson, Ella May Walker, Becky Light, Rachel Dewhurst, Seth Beckford, Mel Windmill, Julia Arnold, Charlotte Thornwell and Lauren Grogan.