A Scarborough midwife is gearing up for a life-changing experience as she prepares to volunteer in an African hospital.
Jenna Walker, 24, of South Cliff, will travel to Tanzania in June with fellow midwife and university pal Lauren Pickup, who lives in Leeds.
The pair will be volunteering for a month at Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam and will also be visiting a local orphanage.
Jenna, who qualified as a midwife four years ago, said the trip is something she has wanted to do for a long time.
She explained: “I’ve always wanted to do it and it’s something I’ve done off my own back.
“I researched various volunteering companies and I’m going with one based in Brighton called ‘Work the World’.”
Jenna, who is funding the trip herself, will be based at a specialist maternity hospital, which deals with 100 deliveries a day with only basic facilities.
She said: “People come from far and wide to use the hospital. However, one in five of the babies sadly die during delivery.”
Jenna will be spending most of her time delivering babies, but she will also be working in the ante-natal and post-natal wards.
She said: “I’m quite nervous, but also very excited. This is something that a lot of midwives would like to do, but they don’t get the chance.”
Jenna added that her friend Lauren, who is also going on the trip, works at Leeds General Infirmary and has featured on the TV show One Born Every Minute.
She said: “We met at university on our interview day and we were on the same course, so I’m really glad we’re going on this trip together.
“Our friends and family are really proud and my colleagues have been great. They’re all rallying round and helping me get everything we need, so it’s a real team effort.”
Freya Oliver, matron for maternity services at Scarborough Hospital, said: “Jenna is a very valued member of our midwifery team at the trust and we are delighted that she has decided to dedicate some time to helping improve outcomes for mothers and babies in Tanzania.
“I am sure that her skills and abilities will be incredibly beneficial there and that she will have opportunity to gain huge insight into how different maternity care is in another country.
“As a trust and a department we always strive to facilitate staff to undertake such opportunities and look forward to her sharing her experiences with us on her return.”
• Jenna is holding a tombola on April 17 and a cake sale on April 18, both from 10.30am to 2pm in Scarborough Hospital main reception. She will also be bag packing at Morrisons on May 5 and will host a fundraising day at a friend’s house on May 18. The money raised will go towards excess baggage on the flight so she can take over medical supplies.