Tania Pearce, a community midwife from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), has been crowned England’s Midwives’ Midwife of the Year in the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) annual awards.

The prestigious award is chosen by the President of the RCM, Rebeccah Davies, following nominations from midwives’ peers up and down the country. It acknowledges an unsung midwifery champion who has displayed an outstanding commitment to women, the profession and to maternity services.

Tania, from Horsham, qualified as a midwife in 1999 and has worked at SASH since 2009. She said: “It was a complete surprise to win; I’ve never won anything before so I was completely taken aback! I’m thrilled to win but this is really for the whole community team at Horsham under the guidance of our encouraging team leader– they’re such a lovely group of midwives and we always support each other, so without them I would not have won. It’s been an incredibly challenging couple of years for pregnant women, their families and midwives so it’s lovely to receive this award during this time. I love being a midwife because I’m able to support such incredible women when they are at their most vulnerable and get to know them while they’re under our care. I’d also like to thank the whole midwifery team at SASH who are all brilliant.”

The RCM say they look for a midwife who is “a positive role model, with energy and passion for their work, their colleagues and the families they serve”, adding that the winner would be the midwife who colleagues think “Oh good, I’m working with her/him, today will be a great day”.

Commenting, RCM’s President Rebeccah Davies said:

“Tania is an inspirational midwife and leader who demonstrates the qualities and attributes of the Midwives’ Midwife of the Year. Her commitment to contributing to the wider profession while maintaining local support and guidance to her team is commendable, admirable, and most importantly recognised by those around her. Her dedication to her colleagues and delivering high quality care to women and their babies deserves to be recognised and I wholeheartedly congratulate her.”

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive at SASH, said: “I am delighted that Tania’s dedication to supporting women, their families and her colleagues has been recognised in this way. Tania has been a key part of a team who have adapted so well to the challenges of the last couple of years so that they can continue to provide a great service for local families; she is a credit to her profession.”