HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of Stroud Hospitals League of Friends, visited the maternity unit at Stroud Hospital to meet mothers, babies and staff who benefit from the League’s support.

The Stroud Maternity Unit is a midwife-led centre, part of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the team help deliver around 300 births every year, providing a unique home-from-home environment for new parents.

The League of Friends has been a dedicated supporter of Stroud Maternity for decades, funding refurbishment projects and additional equipment. More recently, from 2017, the League support has extended to  free singing and yoga for mothers and babies at the Hospital. Following this successful model a number of other  groups have been initiated to give practical and emotional support, as well as companionship to new mothers.

One such group is the monthly infant sleep peer support group, led by experienced and qualified practitioners. All groups are offered free of charge, ensuring accessibility for mothers and families who might otherwise face financial barriers.

The League of Friends worked closely with local mothers, maternity staff, and external practitioners to ensure the groups effectively catered to the needs of the local community.

During the visit, HRH The Princess Royal had the opportunity to meet mothers, babies and staff, and personally witnessed the positive impact of the League’s initiatives on the maternity unit.

Dr Roma Walker, Chair of Stroud Hospitals League of Friends said: “We are really proud to show Her Royal Highness some of the work we have been doing with the maternity service in supporting mothers, babies and families. We have continued to grow what we are able to offer, from yoga and singing to practical support and companionship for new mothers.”

“We believe that there are not many maternity units in the country that are able to provide the range and quality of additional support that the League of Friends has helped make possible, in our unique partnership with Stroud Maternity.”

Lisa Stephens, Director of Midwifery at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “This was a really special day for our staff, volunteers, mums and families and a memory they will cherish for years to come. It was a lovely surprise for the women and families in the unit, who were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and chat with a member of the Royal Family.

“It was an opportunity for the maternity team to showcase the dedication they bring to providing women with the best possible care and choices during their maternity journey.”

“We are also really grateful to the Stroud Hospitals League of Friends for the work they do in fundraising and delivering a wide range of groups for mums and families. Their support over the years has been fantastic and they continue to make a real difference for everyone using our service.”