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RGU receives UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award in official ceremony

Friday 10 September 2021

UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award for Universities official ceremony
Robert Gordon University (RGU) has become the first university in Scotland to be awarded the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Award for Universities in an official ceremony. The award is recognised as a mark of sustained quality in student midwifery and health visiting programmes and helps ensure that students are prepared for practice.

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global accreditation programme that offers an evidence-based approach to supporting breastfeeding and good infant nutrition and helping parents to develop close and loving relationships with their babies. 

At the ceremony held on RGU's Garthdee campus, Janet Dalzell, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Lead Professional Officer for Scotland, presented the university with a gold plaque to mark the occasion.

Professor Susan Dawkes, Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice said: “As a Baby-Friendly Guardian for RGU, I am proud that the midwifery and health visiting teams have embedded UNICEF Baby Friendly's high-quality standards. The university is committed to ensuring students are educated to effectively support parents with infant feeding and developing close, loving relationships to give their children the best possible start in life. We are thankful to the teams at UNICEF Baby Friendly and the Scottish Government for their support throughout this process. This accreditation would not have been possible without the continued commitment from RGU staff and students, and I am proud of their contributions.”

Scottish Government Unit Head for Supporting Maternal and Child Wellbeing, Carolyn Wilson, also joined the event online and said about RGU’s accolade: “Scotland is seen as leading the way across the UK in many aspects of promoting, supporting, and protecting breastfeeding.  Our commitment to the UNICEF BFI programme becoming embedded across all areas of health and health care is testament to that.  But we know that to support pregnant women and new mothers well, particularly when there are challenges, the power is in positive, trusting relationships, especially between the health professional and the mother. That is why we are delighted to have the first university in Scotland achieving the gold BFI award, to ensure that all women in Scotland get the help and support they deserve based on their feeding choices.”

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