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Union Street women’s health hub

Our new building in Union Street, London, was officially opened by Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Royal, Patron of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), and our Patron the Duchess of Cambridge.

The building is home to the RCM as well as numerous charities, contributing to the College’s vision to create a centre of excellence in women’s health. There are now 14 women's health organisations working alongside the RCOG at Union Street: RCM, Sands (the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity), The Eve Appeal, Best Beginnings, Florence Nightingale Foundation, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Wellbeing of Women, Endometriosis UK, Baby Lifeline, Baby Life line Training, Bliss, Group B Strep Support, Maternal Mental Health Alliance UK and The Lullaby Trust. Co-located under one roof, this collective of like-minded women’s health organisations can collaborate and share learning, with the shared aim to improve the health of women and girls.

Women’s health Union Street

Best Beginnings

Esther Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer at Best Beginnings: “It is a wonderful opportunity for us to move into the RCOG building to be able to closely collaborate with other charities and the RCOG as well as to attend the events organised by the RCOG. So far, we have had a positive experience with RCOG staff members who created a welcoming environment for our staff members. The building itself is well managed. We are looking forward to further collaborations with our neighbours which will improve the outcome of public health.”

Best Beginnings' vision is to tackle inequalities across the UK and to give every child in the UK the best start, to give parents and care givers of all backgrounds the knowledge and confidence they need to look after their own mental and physical health and support their child’s development. They work closely with parents, leading healthcare professionals, royal colleges, other charities and the Department of Health to create innovative evidence-based resources, including their free multi-award-winning Baby Buddy app.

Endometriosis UK

Emma Cox, CEO at Endometriosis UK: “We were looking for a new office during the pandemic, ready to return to office/hybrid working. We were growing to meet the demand of the endometriosis community who couldn't access the NHS over the pandemic, and looking for flexible office accommodation with good transport links at a cost effective price. Union Street provides all that, and much more. We've felt very welcomed and supported, and the building has such great facilities, it’s a lovely place to work and a real step up in the quality of accommodation we had previously. It's great being in a building with the RCOG and other women's health charities, which helps with networking and collaborations. We have plans to expand – there is so much more we need to do, to support those with endometriosis, raise awareness and campaign for change – and look forward to working with the RCOG team as our needs change in the years ahead. Union Street is now very much our home.”

The Eve Appeal

Athena Lamnisos, CEO at The Eve Appeal: “The pandemic changed many things – one was how we were working as a team and what our future workspace might look like. It quickly became clear that Eve could operate efficiently and productively with hybrid working. Many roles could be done well from home and online, but we knew we were losing something by not coming together as a team. The RCOG building is the perfect home for us. A fiercely collaborative charity – working alongside charities and bodies within the space (literally) of gynaecological health – presents huge opportunities for closer working, incidental conversations that count and mutual understanding of ambition and goals. The fact that the building is a dream of light and is fully inclusive and accessible is the icing on the cake!”

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH)

Gary Waltham, CEO at FSRH: “The FSRH is delighted to work alongside RCOG, and the building in Union Street is growing as a dynamic centre for women’s health. Union Street has first class facilities available to host thought-provoking events and further our cause for better education, training and care.”

Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF)

Professor Greta Westwood CEO of FNF: “We are a growing, ambitious charity with a big mission to improve health, clinical outcomes and patient experience by supporting the leadership development of nurses and midwives across the globe. At FNF, working in partnership is central to how we operate and therefore sharing the excellent facilities at RCOG with like-minded organisations is beneficial to us in lots of ways. I look forward to continuing to develop relationships with our neighbours in order that we can achieve our collective, important purposes.”

Royal College of Midwives

Gill Walton, CEO of RCM: “We have long believed that collaboration is the key to improving maternity services not only for our members, but for the women and families that use them. For many years, the RCM has worked jointly with the RCOG and other women’s and healthcare organisations striving to improve safety and services. Working together at the same address with a growing number of health-related organisations further strengthens our collaborative work and has brought us closer together in terms of our shared vision and values. Our staff also enjoy and benefit from the modern workplace surroundings and being in the same building as other Women’s organisations which enables meetings to take place at ease. Also, all enquiries into poor functioning health care systems advocate for multidisciplinary working, trust and understanding between teams and woman and families. Working at the same address facilitates this.

"Our One Voice network which started as just the RCM and RCOG now includes many other Royal Colleges, professional associations, and residents of Union Street. Most recently our work with Sands in supporting the launch of the APPG All Parliamentary safe staffing report is another example of the pivotal work we undertake collectively to amplify key messages and lobby for improvements. Together with the RCOG we have publicly highlighted the shortage of staff in maternity services which is comprising the care healthcare professionals want to deliver. The pandemic further cemented our relationship as we worked together to develop COVID-19 guidance and strong advice for those working in and using maternity services. Together we are stronger."

Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity)

Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands: “It’s great for Sands to be part of the RCOG’s Union Street hub of charities and organisations working together to improve outcomes for women’s health. Sands’ mission to save babies’ lives and support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby is one that I know is supported by those neighbour organisations. So it’s wonderful to be able to get to know one another in person, to have face-to-face conversations and meetings, and to have a space to promote our work.”

Wellbeing of Women

Janet Lindsay,​ Chief Executive of Wellbeing of Women: “We are so excited to be part of the new women’s health hub with like-minded organisations in Union Street. Working in the same space enables us to come together and have an even stronger voice to advocate for the needs of women, girls and babies. We are working even more closely with our existing partners, such as The Royal College of Midwives, and have forged new collaborations, such as with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to raise awareness of cervical screening. We look forward to working with even more charities and organisations to further advance the future of women’s health.”