8 February 2018

Twelve champions from across the city have come together today to launch a programme to reduce baby deaths across the city.

In Sheffield, every year, four out of every 1,000 babies die before they reach the age of one.

This new initiative, the first of its kind in England, brings together members of the local community including a teenage mum, with medical experts, such as the Jessop Wing’s head of midwifery to help parents access the help and support they need to keep their babies safe and well.

Sheffield’s twelve Baby Safe Champions come from a variety of  backgrounds and experiences and will highlight initiatives which help keep baby’s safe including providing parents support and advice on breast feeding, safer sleeping, stopping smoking, how to maintain a healthy weight as well as ensuring early access to maternity care

The champions are:

  • John Mothersole, Chief Executive, Sheffield City Council
  • Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Sheffield City Council
  • Dr Margaret Ainger, Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Henrietta Mlalazi, Community Representative
  • Professor Sarah Salway Professor of Public Health, Sheffield University
  • Ghazala Munir, Roshni Sheffield – Asian Women’s Resource Centre
  • Dr Kirsteen Mackay, Consultant neonatologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
  • Jody Wigfull Coy, Community Representative
  • Paula Schofield, , Head of Midwifery, Jessop Wing
  • Shahida Siddique,Founding Partner and Director, FaithStar
  • Lillias Allison, paediatrician, Sheffield City Council
  • Greg Fell, Director of Public Health, Sheffield City Council

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “It’s a huge honour to be a Sheffield Baby Safe Champion.  Although the number of baby deaths in the City has decreased over the last 10 years, we know we can do more.  The twelve Champions will be helping to raise awareness and highlight the support and services that are available across the City to new and expectant mums, (and dads).  As a young mum I know how isolating it can be but there is help out there for you.”

Henrietta Mlalazi, is 21 years old with a very active 18 month old little boy called Malakai.  She said : “I wanted to be a champion because I want  to help spread awareness to parents everywhere on the importance of safe sleep. I currently run mum and baby retreats.  During our overnight stays, it’s very important to go talk about safe sleep.  The advice I would give new mums is to definitely read up on safe sleep, it’s the best thing you could do for your baby. Safe sleep isn’t telling you what do or what not to do but instead it teaches you the safest way you can do it so that whatever decision you make, you make it the safest way you can.”