Hundreds of people rallied to support the March with Midwives vigil in Stroud this afternoon, Sunday.
Crowds gathered outside the Sub Rooms to listen to working and retired midwives and mums express their views on why current conditions are forcing people to leave the profession, with maternity units under strain and the safety of birth in the UK is in crisis.
Marchers bearing placards and led by the Stroud Red Band, paraded through George Street, King Street and the High Street.
Midwives say maternity services are suffering from chronic understaffing and a crisis in retention, leading to unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. The situation was present before the pandemic but has been exacerbated by the current health climate. Already, say workers, it has led to the safety of mothers being compromised. They are calling on the Government to invest heavily in sustaining a working environment where midwives can practice safely.
Pictures by Matt Bigwood.