News from The Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust, February 2020

We are delighted to tell you that since we last emailed many of you in June 2019, the Trust has continued to gain momentum, as you will see below.

In June we explained that, in order to send you future emails and newsletters, the Trust needs to get your permission to hold your email address We asked you please reply with the words, “I agree to the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust holding my contact details securely and from time to time sending me information including updates, newsletters and information about events.” Only half of the supporters we emailed replied. If you think that you may not have replied in June, please email the words “I agree to the HLMT holding my contact details securely” or sign up for our newsletter on the website. We require your agreement in order to satisfy data protection requirements. If we do not receive your permission, we will not be able to send you updates, newsletters or information about events.

We have recently launched our new and much-expanded website, www.hlmt.org.uk . Please go to it and have a look. You will find information about HLMT – forthcoming and past events; the trustees; Liberia; Helen Loewenstein; how you can get involved; and much more. The website was designed by Alex Mottier, who donated a lot of time and great skills to do the work voluntarily. We would be really interested in any feedback you have about the website.

As a result of the generous donations of so many of you – friends and supporters – the HLMT has continued to grow. We haven’t been able to contact everyone personally to say “thank you” because we are still taken up with the impact of Helen’s death, but if you have contributed, please accept this as a very BIG thank you: together with the other Trustees we are so grateful for all the support we and the Trust have received. Supporters have also organised a range of fundraising activities, as you will be able to see on our website, www.hlmt.org.uk . Due to your generosity and hard work, the HLMT is a third of our way towards our target of £100,000, having raised over £35,000. That’s a great start in less than a year.  We plan to invest the funds ethically in order to gradually increase the number of midwifery students we can support using the income generated.

There are a number of events in the pipeline. The first is a music and words fundraiser on Saturday March 7th.  Rosa’s Lovely Daughters & Friends invite you celebrate International Women’s Day with songs, poetry and readings, at the same time assisting the HLMT to support Liberian midwifery training. Please put the date in your diary and buy a ticket from Rosa’s to avoid disappointment. Details of this and other events are on the “Upcoming Events” section of the website and will be regularly updated.

We leave the best news until last! It is very likely that the first midwifery student to receive a grant from the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust will be recruited at the end of the current school year in June, and will start training in September this year at the Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery in Liberia. HLMT trustee and consultant midwife, Carol McCormick and her colleague, Maureen Raynor from Leicester De Montfort University, visited Liberia in January 2020 with the aid of a grant from a charitable trust. The purpose of the visit was to build relationship with partners, establish procedures for the recruitment of trainee midwives who HLMT will support with grants, and gather information about initial midwifery training in Liberia. Supported by Abdul-Rahman Bah, Helen’s colleague and friend, they met the Liberian Minister of Health, the Directress of the Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery, the President of the Liberia Midwife Association, the Director of the Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery, key officials in the Ministry of Health, and the British Ambassador. Some details are still to be finalised, further work will be done with colleagues in Liberia. HLMT trustees will meet in February to make decisions and to progress the work undertaken by Carol and Maureen with Abdul’s wonderful support. This is great news.

 If you haven’t donated and even if you have, could we please urge you to consider filling in and sending us a Standing Order form (copy attached) – regular monthly income, no matter how small or big, adds up, and our target is to meet the annual cost of training at least one midwife (just under £1000 per midwife) through standing orders. We would also ask you to please consider including The Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust in your will.

If there is anything else you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
For now, thanks again for your continued support – please don’t forget to email back by return to agree for us to keep your contact details.

With very best wishes,
Pete Stella and Nick (on behalf of the HLMT Trustees).

Very positive visit to Liberia

Meeting with the Minister of Health

HLMT trustee and consultant midwife, Carol McCormick and her colleague, Maureen Raynor from Leicester De Montfort University, visited Liberia in January 2020. The purpose of the visit was to build relationship with partners, establish procedures for the recruitment of trainee midwives who HLMT will support with grants, and gather information about initial midwifery training in Liberia.

Meeting with the President of the Liberia Midwife Association

Supported by Abdul-rahman Bah, they met the Liberian Minister of Health, Dr Wilhelmina Jallah, the Directress of the Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery, Willimai Weetol-Geninyan, the President of the Liberia Midwife Association, Wilhelmina Flomo, the Director of the Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery, Mary Tiah, John Harris and others at the Ministry of Health, and the British Ambassador David Belgrove.

Meeting with the Director of the Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery

They also visited several hospitals and clinics where Helen Loewenstein had worked, and met a number of people who had known, worked with or befriended Helen.

Meeting with the Directress of the Esther Bacon School

The visit was extremely useful and very successful. The upshot is that it looks very likely that the first student to receive a grant from the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust will be recruited at the end of the current school year in June, and will start training in September this year at the Esther Bacon School.

Meeting with John Harris, Ministry of Health

Some details are still to be finalised, further work will be done with colleagues in Liberia and the HLMT trustees will meet in February to make decisions and to progress the work that Carol and Maureen have done so brilliantly with Abdul’s wonderful support. This is great news.

Meeting with the British Ambassador

Past Events – 2019

Broxtowe Christmas Lights switch ons November 2019

Stalls at two events organised by HLMT Trustee, Celia. She raised £187.

One Off Art Sale stall November 2019

Organised by HLMT Trustee, Stella, and staffed by HLMT Trustees Carol, Celia, Pippa, Nick and Roger with supporters Angel and Leonie. It raised £175.

“Music for Liberian Midwives” October 2019

Organised by Julie, a friend of Helen’s family, and Roger, a HLMT Trustee, etc. It raised £1200 .

Helen Janiszewski Robin Hood Half Marathon September 2019

Helen, who was Helen Loewenstein’s mentor and midwife colleague, trained for and completed her first-ever half-marathon specifically to raise funds for the Trust. She raised £900.

Green Festival Stall September 2019

Staffed by three HLMT trustees, Carol, Celia and Pippa. It raised £370.

Celia Knight – Suffolk Coastal walk June 2019

Celia, a HLMT trustee and life-long friend of Helen’s, completed this tough 90-mile walk in atrocious gales and thunderous rains in June. She raised £1500.

“Madwives” planned walk

A group of Helen’s midwife colleagues organised a trip to Malaga in Spain to walk El Caminito del Rey – known in the past as the “world’s most dangerous walkway”. To their huge disappointment, when they arrived on the day, very high winds forced the closure of the Caminito. They are determined to return next year to complete the walk. They raised £3000.

Stall at Celebration of Helen’s Life February 2019

Staffed by two HLMT trustees, Celia and Stella. It raised £270.