UCLan retains UNICEF gold award for its Baby Friendly Initiative
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UCLan’s revalidation of the BFI Achieving Sustainability Gold Award for Universities follows on from last year’s success when the Institution became only the third university to achieve this prestigious award.
The good news means the university, which has a midwifery cohort at its Burnley Campus, remains the only higher education institution to achieve the special recognition for the midwifery and health visiting programmes simultaneously.
The award supports the sustainability of infant feeding and relationship building education within the health visiting and midwifery programmes. It also provides a broader approach to support good practice in infant feeding across the university.
Dr Debbie Kenny, Head of the School of Community Health and Midwifery, said: “We’re delighted that UNICEF has revalidated our gold accreditation.
“Retaining our gold status is a source of great pride to everyone involved and helps recognise the hard work by our staff and students. They worked tirelessly to help us achieve this fantastic success and we’re excited for what the future holds.”
The UNICEF report commented: “The whole team at UCLan continue to provide excellent teaching, learning and care for students and staff which is kind and compassionate.
“Of particular note, is an approach to make infant feeding and relationship building across the university ‘everyone’s business’ through Baby Friendly Champions and using the Progression standard to widen participation.”
To revalidate this award, the midwifery and health visiting academics have worked to ensure that infant feeding and relationship building is embedded throughout the curriculum for midwifery and health visiting students.
In addition, there has been shared knowledge of the Baby Friendly Standards across other health courses through interprofessional education events.
A further new incentive this year has been the introduction of the BFI Student Champions. The student champions have given up their own time to work with the BFI Leadership Team and support their peers to return to study and breastfeeding.
To support mothers returning to work or study, the University also has BFI staff champions and dedicated breast-feeding facilities based at various locations across the campus.