A specialist Plymouth nurse who helps vulnerable young mums and their babies to have the best start in life has been recognised at an event.
Fay Cook, supervisor for Livewell Southwest’s Family Nurse Partnership was one of several inspirational women invited to Devon County Council’s ‘Women of the Community’ Celebration Event.
The event, which took place on International Women’s Day – Friday 8 March -celebrated female community champions making a difference to their communities across Devon.
Fay was nominated by a former member of her team who praised her for being an ‘inspiration’ and for ‘helping young mums to be the best mums they can be’.
The Family Nurse Partnership supports pregnant girls and women up to the age of 19 who are often facing a range of difficult circumstances such as homelessness, mental health issues or social isolation.
Expectant mothers will see the same nurse throughout their two and a half years on the programme. They are visited frequently and supported until the child reaches their second birthday.
The programme focuses on every aspect of parenting from what to expect in pregnancy, supporting child development and achieving their own personal aspirations.
Fay said: “It was a fantastic event and a great chance to come together to network and to hear from some really inspirational women.
“I felt like a bit of a fraud when I found out I had been nominated because I’m part of a wonderful team so this nomination was really for all six of us.
“We’re currently supporting 76 women. It’s a very holistic approach, the client is the mum but often we find ourselves working with the wider family.
“There are a lot of great people doing a lot of great things to support their community and it was fantastic to come together and celebrate that.”
The event was hosted by Councillor Caroline Chugg, chair of Devon County Council at County Hall in Exeter.
Cllr Chugg said: “This event was for every woman in Devon– there are so many who work under the radar, every day, to improve the lives of others.
“Everyone who was invited was chosen by their community. There were firefighters, teachers, health and social care workers, all united by a common desire to help others.
“Originally the event was to be held in the afternoon – but over 280 women were nominated we also held an event in the morning so that more people could attend. That tells me just how much these women are valued in their communities.
“They do what they do not to be recognised or applauded but because they care about their communities.
“What better way to say thank you than on International Women’s Day.”