730. Diana Parkinson
Diana Parkinson is the Chair of Trustees and Co-Founder of ‘Birth Companions’, a charity that helps disadvantaged women in prison and in the community.
Diana created the charity in 1996 when a group of antenatal teachers became inspired by a campaign to stop the use of handcuffs for women in labour.
‘Birth Companions’ began by providing practical and emotional support to pregnant women and new mothers in Holloway prison, and they currently work across three prisons in London and Peterborough. The charity has also extended its support to women who have been trafficked, abused or who face other serious challenges in their lives.
In a personal letter to Diana, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“‘Birth Companions’ is leading the way in supporting vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers, in both the community and in prisons. Your dedication to the charity is remarkable and you should be very proud of what you have built over the past two decades.”
“I feel honoured to have been given a Point of Light award for my work with Birth Companions. The charity does truly amazing work for women whose challenging circumstances make it difficult for them to have the experience of pregnancy, birth and motherhood that all women should have. We have a great team of staff and volunteers supporting women, and as a trustee and founder member of the charity, I am continually inspired and moved by what we all achieve together.”