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Five Barts Health women recognised in New Year Honours

Five remarkable women have been recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Dame Alwen Williams, group chief executive

Our group chief executive, Alwen Williams, is today recognised for her inspiring leadership in the NHS by being made a Dame in the New Year Honours.

Already recognised as one of the top 50 leaders within the health service, this wider award coincides with a notable career landmark as Alwen celebrates 40 years as an NHS manager this year. 

The official citation pays particular tribute to her achievement in transforming Barts Health since taking the helm of the trust five years ago.

Dr Gloria Rowland, director of midwifery

Dr Gloria Rowland trained as a nurse and midwife in Nigeria before relocating to the UK where she became the first black African director of midwifery. Today she is celebrating being awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Gloria has been recognised in the New Year Honours for her services to midwifery. "A good midwife is kind, compassionate, skilful, brave, very competent and is willing to stand as an advocate for women. Bringing life into the world is such a private event and midwives supporting women through the process should see this as a privilege. It should always be treated with respect and dignity as child birth is a major life event. The role of a good midwife is to help to foster positive birth experience at all times," reflected Gloria.

Anne Claydon, diabetes nurse consultant

Anne Claydon has been awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) award in the 2021 New Year Honours List

Anne began her nursing career in south Manchester, where she trained as a cardiothoracic nurse.

“I feel very honoured and humbled to receive such an honour,” said Anne. “Especially given the fact that I couldn’t do any of my work without the fantastic support of those I work with. The doctors and nurses at Newham Hospital, and across Barts Health are brilliant, hardworking dedicated individuals. 

“That’s why for me, receiving this honour is recognition for all of our hard work, not any one individual’s. Without teamwork, nothing would be possible.”

Becky Platt, advanced clinical practitioner

Becky Platt has been awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) award in the 2021 New Year Honours Overseas and International List for services to Humanitarian Response.

Becky has been practicing as a nurse for over 23 years. When asked about her motivation, Becky stated: “If you feel motivated, you can motivate others”. She shared her love and passion for her job and stated: “it’s a privilege to work in health care.” Becky finds being able to be there and make a difference to patients’ lives is hugely fulfilling and strives to give other nurses a voice and make them feel valued.

Wendy Olayiwola, Senior Midwifery Manager and site lead of the BME Network at Newham Hospital

Wendy Olayiwola has been awarded a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) award in the 2021 New Year Honours List.

Commenting on her Award, Wendy said: “I feel so incredibly humbled and honoured and I want to dedicate this award to all nurses and midwives, who are working harder than ever especially now. Receiving a BEM will only drive me to work harder at my inclusion work and being the best midwife I can be. I really hope I can inspire other colleagues, especially my BAME peers, to take up roles in the NHS and lead in what they are passionate about, as I will continue to.”

A big congratulations to Dame Alwen, Gloria, Anne, Becky, and Wendy for their contribution to the NHS and to Barts Health.

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