Student at the University of the West of Scotland creates a Scottish Tree of Life to raise money for next year International Day of Midwifery

By Carla Buscema

Heather Gilchrist, a second year Midwifery student came up with idea of creating a ‘Tree of Life’ to raise money and celebrate the connection between Scottish Midwives around Scotland.

The tree has been painted over four canvases and it is 2.4 meters high and 1.6 meters wide, with each leaf on the tree a unique thumbprint from a past, present and future midwife around Scotland. The painting is currently going around the 14 regions in Scotland and it started his journey last October in Dunoon. The painting has since visited Inverclyde, University of the West of Scotland in both the Hamilton and Paisley Campuses, Elgin, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Aberdeen Maternity Unit and it is currently off to Wishaw Maternity.

Sheona Brown, a Midwifery Lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland, is helping Heather with the project. She said: “The tree currently has 273 thumbprints on it. Each person who provides a print has been asked to donate a minimum of £1 and to write something in out book of memories about themselves and their experience of adding their print to the Tree.”

Heather also said:

“The strength of family and connection has always been important to me, having grown up in Africa and boarding school, you learn to make new friendships and bonds with so many new groups of people and no matter where we all end up in the world, they are your family and your links to what is important. Being a midwife feels like that to me, you are there to be with women and that selflessness and focus on the wellbeing of another woman and her newborn is what bonds us to the midwifery family.”

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