It seems incredible that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Health Visiting. Since our launch as a centre of excellence for health visiting on 28 November 2012, there is so much to celebrate at this important landmark in our journey. Anniversary landmarks are important as they provide a time to celebrate achievements, remember the ‘highs and lows’ and everyone who supported us and shared our journey with us. So many people have played a crucial part in our success over the last ten years – we did it together – thank you!
Yesterday evening, the iHV hosted an evening reception to mark this special occasion. The event was held at 10 Union St. in London – the impressive new building and shared home of our close partners, the Royal College of Midwives, and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. We were delighted to gather together with colleagues, partners, supporters, funders, members, Fellows and the iHV team who have all contributed to the Institute’s success and been the driving force behind the organisation. They are all ‘friends’ of the iHV and share our vision to improve health and reduce inequalities for babies, young children, families and communities – and recognise the value of health visiting.
In particular, it was very special to welcome the four founding health visiting academics who provided the vision and were the driving force behind the Institute: Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Prof Dame Sarah Cowley DBE, Prof Sally Kendall MBE and Prof Ros Bryer. We were also joined by our first Chair, Sally Russell OBE. We are indebted to all of them for their clear vision and tenacity to turn a seedling idea into the fully functioning and successful organisation that the iHV is today.
Professor Dame Sarah Cowley DBE, who is fondly known by many health visitors as the ‘god’ of health visiting, brought the opening address and reflections on behalf of the iHV Board of Trustees. Sarah has been so enormously influential in guiding the profession through her academic activities over very many years.
Dr Cheryll Adams CBE needed no introductions as our second speaker, and the driving force behind the iHV as its first Executive Director (2012-2020). The Institute of Health Visiting, health visitors, and families across the UK owe a huge debt to Cheryll for the inspiration she has provided through her establishment of our organisation. Read more about the early days of the iHV in a fabulous blog by our first Executive Director Dr Cheryll Adams CBE here.
The iHV’s current Executive Director, Alison Morton, then brought an update on the iHV’s achievements over the last two years and the organisation’s priorities and vision for the future. We launched our latest annual report which contains highlights from the last year, as well as an overview of key achievements from our first ten years.
Every year, the iHV Board of Trustees bestows an Honorary Fellowship award at its annual event. These awards are only made to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to not only the iHV, but also the profession of health visiting and the families we serve. We were delighted to award this year’s Honorary Fellowship to Sally Hogg. Sally is well-known in the sector as a champion for babies and was described as ‘a galvanising force for good who has worked tirelessly to address the baby blind spot in national policy’.
We were also delighted to launch two short films to raise the profile of health visiting and shine a light on the valuable work that health visitors do. Read our full news story for an overview of the films and links to view them.
Thank you to everyone who joined our celebrations. Collaboration lies at the heart of the work of the Institute, and we look forward to our continuing work together over the next ten years, and beyond.
Photo credits: Matthew Walker Photography