Welwyn couple set up a lasting legacy for Jake

FOR Andrew and Rachel Canter, October 29, 2005 will be a day they’ll never forget.

Their son, Jake, was stillborn after they were sent on a 27-minute detour when a hospital’s maternity unit was closed to new admissions.

Since then, the Welwyn couple has been determined to ensure Jake left a lasting legacy, setting up the National Maternity Support Foundation (NMSF) in his memory.

And that vow has now been cemented with a new award.

In partnership with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), NMSF has set up an honour to recognise the importance of bereavement midwife care.


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The NMSF Award for Bereavement Care – which has become part of the RCM’s annual awards ceremony – will provide a yearly bursary.

“Jake’s Scholarship” will enable NHS midwives with at least five years’ experience to undertake specialist training with the aim of practising as a bereavement counsellor in a maternity setting.

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Mr Canter, NMSF chairman and also a Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor, said: “We were extremely proud to attend the RCM Midwifery Awards in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal.

“This was our first year as sponsor of the newly-created category for excellence in bereavement care.

“It was an incredible day and one we will never forget, the beginning of the next phase for Jake to leave a positive legacy.”

The first winners of Jake’s Scholarship were Jayne Welch and Barbara Hanson, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Canter, of Turpins Chase in Oaklands, added: “We are delighted the NMSF scholarship will be going to such a dedicated and passionate team.”

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