Just Launched: Join our new, Calm and Confident Birth Programme

Become part of a vibrant, caring community.

Meet the Zest Family

Our Team is made up of Midwives, Holistic Practitioners, Insurers and all the other people who make Zest what it is today.

Meet the Zest Team

Our Founders

ZEST directors Tracy Thomas and Katy Shay have known each other professionally and personally for 25 years. They are delighted that after many years of commitment to creating this model, they believe ZEST is the perfect solution to autonomous, Independent Midwifery practice.

Tracy Thomas Zest Director

Tracy Thomas

Director of Midwifery

Tracy is a registered practicing midwife with over 25 years experience. She has held senior leadership roles within the private sector and the NHS. Tracy is educated to masters level and holds a PMA (Professional Midwifery Advocate) qualification. Tracy offers advocacy and support to the ZEST community of midwives and MaMas.

Katy Shay

Director of Health and Wellbeing 

With 25 years of running a thriving homeopathy practice, and a background in agricultural zoology and tropical medicine, Katy brings expertise in many complementary therapies. These include yoga, nutrition, relaxation, mindfulness, and sound bath therapy. She provides gentle holistic care.
She is also a trained MaMa (Doula).

Our Core ZEST Team

Our members are key to the Zest team. Each member has their own unique role and we come together at ZEST to promote our unique birth practices offering kindness, quality, safety and a multi disciplined approach enabling physiological birth choices for all.

We provide support and advocacy for Midwives, MaMas, Students, Birthing People and their Families.

Robyn Thomas Midwife

Robyn Thomas

Midwifery Lead and PMA

Working as part of the ZEST community Robyn offers professional support & advocacy. She co-facilitates training and offers unique guidance and access to ZEST systems and processes.

Robyn Thomas

Midwifery Lead and PMA

Working as part of the ZEST community Robyn offers professional support & advocacy. She co-facilitates training and offers unique guidance and access to ZEST systems and processes. She provides learning and growing opportunities for the ZEST midwives and MAMA’s ensuring they feel well cared for and nurtured. As a valued member of the ZEST leadership team and KQSC Robyn is instrumental in co-creating and co-producing initiatives and business development opportunities to offer choices to professionals and families. She is inspired by the wealth of knowledge, skill and passion within the ZEST community. 

SKUL

Insurance Partners

Our Insurance partners who can offer midwives exclusive access to professional indemnity insurance once registered with ZEST. Exclusive Insurance available through ZEST Midwives.

SKUL

Insurance Partners

Our Insurance partners who can offer midwives exclusive access to professional indemnity insurance once registered with ZEST. The insurance policy fully satisfies the demands and needs of an Independent Midwife, domiciled in England, Wales & Scotland, registered with ZEST and qualified by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

ZEST are the only people and company able to offer this insurance partnership in the whole of the UK for independent midwives to practice wholly independently.

Katie Wainwright

Katie Wainwright

Safeguarding Lead

Katie is the ZEST safeguarding lead and a key member of the ZEST Team. She delivers our ZEST Safeguarding.
Katie trained and worked as a gynaecology nurse before going
on to train as a midwife.

Katie Wainwright

Safeguarding Lead

Katie is the ZEST safeguarding lead and is a key member of the ZEST Team.
Katie trained and worked as a gynaecology nurse before going
on to train as a midwife.

When she qualified, she went straight into Independent practice, working for several years before she helped to set up and run
One to One Midwives.

She is passionate about women’s choice and being an advocate for them and their families, whilst supporting other midwives in her senior and supervisory/PMA roles. As her career progressed she became more and more interested in the safeguarding aspects of the job and trained as a safeguarding supervisor. She has undertaken several specialist safeguarding roles, including Named Nurse and Named Midwife for Safeguarding, Head of Safeguarding, Lead nurse for Safeguarding children and MASH nurse for safeguarding. She currently works freelance taking on projects for policy writing, delivering training and undertaking interim safeguarding roles for set periods of time, alongside a Safeguarding Practitioner role for a GP virtual care service.

Liz Nightingale

Liz Nightingale

Birth Friend / Lead MaMa

Our Lead MaMa at ZEST. Liz also offers “Birth Friend Support” to families as they plan and prepare for birth. She offers calm, care & advocacy during the birth and her in the time that follows.

Liz Nightingale

Insurance Partners

Liz is our lead MaMa support and we love having her on the
ZEST Team.

Liz works alongside midwives, both in ZEST, and in the NHS, and can help to navigate the sometimes complex and confusing pathways birth workers may encounter in maternity care. She helps birth workers to achieve the best experiences that the circumstances will allow.
Women have always assisted other women as they give birth. This is what the word midwife means (with woman).Liz retired from midwifery practice in 2017, after sixteen years’ experience as a midwife, both with the NHS and as an independent midwife. She has been working as a Birth Friend since then. Working cooperatively with Zest midwives, she hopes we, as a team, can help to achieve the best pregnancy, birth and beyond experiences that the circumstances permit.
Liz offers a wide range of services to provide continuity, calmness and care to women (and their families) before, during and in the days following birth. By offering to be a known and trusted person accompanying women as they give birth, she aims to help them feel as calm and confident as possible before, through and after labour and birth.

Rachel Bio

Rachel Miller

Marketing Specialist

Rachel is our marketing professional with over 16 years of experience, spanning various sectors. Currently, Rachel lends her expertise to supporting ZEST on their unique professional journey.

Rachel Miller

Marketing Specialist

Rachel is our marketing professional with over 16 years of experience, spanning various sectors. Currently, Rachel lends her expertise to supporting ZEST on their unique professional journey.  Experience in digital marketing, website design, copy writing, branding, graphic design, content creation, communications strategy, SEO, events and more makes her a marketing force to be reckoned with.

She facilitates businesses in achieving their goals and objectives through tailored solutions that resonate with target audiences.

Rachel is passionate about the ZEST ethos and its objectives within the maternity sector. 

James Freeman-Gray - Organisational Consultant at Mutomorro

James Freeman

Operational Effectiveness Lead

His focus is to help us deliver the best experience to our birth workers and their clients. He’s passionate about enabling purpose-driven organisations to perform at their best.

James Freeman

Operational Effectiveness Lead

James has over 15 years experience in organisational change and continuous improvement, with a background in FTSE100 transformation programmes.

His focus is to help us deliver the best experience to our birth workers and their clients.
He’s passionate about enabling purpose-driven organisations to perform at their best – so they can do the most good in the world. He is founder of his own change management consultancy.

James is an expert in his field, he has innovative ideas and a real passion for what he does. This passion shines through and really leads and motivates the team around him. He is not afraid to challenge the status quo.

Dr Anna Byrom

ZEST Education Team

(RM PhD PGCertEd NTFS FHEA)
A midwife for over 20 years, Anna is the founding Director & CEO of All4Maternity. Passionate about relational, humanised and rights-based midwifery care,

Dr Anna Byrom

ZEST Education Team

(RM PhD PGCertEd NTFS FHEA)
A midwife for over 20 years, Anna is the founding Director & CEO of All4Maternity. Passionate about relational, humanised and rights-based midwifery care, she has worked across the UK as a case-load, team & birth centre midwife.

Experienced in leading infant feeding services in a local maternity unit and implementing the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative. For 14 years, Anna has been working as an educator and researcher leading under- and post-graduate programmes.
In 2019 she completed her PhD with the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture [MAINN] unit at UCLan. Awarded a National Teaching Fellowship Award in 2019 for her contribution to midwifery education leadership.

Neesha Ridley

Neesha Ridley

ZEST Education Team

(BSc (Hons) RM, MSc, PGCertEd, FHEA) Neesha has been qualified for over 20 years working across sectors within the NHS, clinical practice, maternity leadership, governance & education.

Neesha Ridley

ZEST Education Team

(BSc (Hons) RM, MSc, PGCertEd, FHEA) Neesha has been qualified for over 20 years working across clinical practice, maternity leadership, governance & education.

Before joining All4Maternity as an Education and Development Lead Midwife, Neesha had roles within Higher Education as a Senior Midwifery Lecturer and as a workforce lead for Health Education England and NHS England, North West region. In her role as workforce lead, Neesha supported the process of recruitment and transition of International Midwives across the North-West region and developed key strategies to support the development and retention of nurses and midwives. Neesha is passionate about safe, quality care, leadership and midwifery education.

Caroline Flint

Caroline
Flint

ZEST Ambassador

Caroline is passionate about supporting student midwives and will be co-facilitating our student midwife forums and developing this programme with ZEST Director,
Tracy Thomas.

Caroline Flint

ZEST Ambassador

Caroline is passionate about supporting student midwives and will be co-facilitating our student midwife forums and developing this programme with ZEST Director, Tracy Thomas. She qualified as a midwife in 1976 and has been a Community Midwife in the NHS, an Independent Midwife, leader of the “Know Your Midwife Team” at St George’s hospital in Tooting, set up a Birth Centre in Tooting which ran for 22 years and has attended many home births.

She was President of the Royal College of Midwives, Adviser to the Select Committee on Maternity Services in 1992 and was an NCT Teacher for 47 years. Caroline has written approximately 350 articles in the nursing and midwifery press and has had 6 books published. (Presently rewriting her first book “Sensitive Midwifery”). At 82, she currently runs two Mother and Baby Groups on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in Edinburgh in an attempt to heal some of the trauma that modern women are going through.

Sarah Fitzsimmons - Midwife

Sarah Fitzsimmons

ZEST Mentorship Lead

Sarah is fulfilling dual roles to support the ZEST community. She is a Business Mentorship Lead to guide and inspire members. Additionally, Sarah spearheads the Midwife Companion program.

Sarah Fitzsimmons

ZEST Mentorship Lead

Sarah Fitzsimmons is the Mentorship Lead at ZEST, where she fulfils dual roles to support the ZEST Community. 

In her capacity as Business Mentorship Lead, she brings her expertise in midwifery and management to guide and inspire members. She assists our registrants in set up and achieving their practice goals and also runs a monthly drop in session offering ongoing support. Additionally, Sarah spearheads the Midwife Companion program, which gives invaluable support to new community members through a midwife ‘buddy’ scheme.

With 15 years of experience as a dedicated midwife, Sarah has specialised in caseload community care and midwife-led birth centre services. Her journey includes serving as a Birth Center Manager, enriching her understanding of holistic maternity care.

Outside of her professional endeavours, she has four children, which adds invaluable, practical life experience to her clinical expertise. Her passion lies in facilitating physiological births, working collaboratively with families to realise their birthing aspirations.

Sarah’s approach emphasises continuity of care, empowering families with insights, choices, evidence-based practices, and unwavering support. She excels in safely facilitating home births that transcend conventional guidelines, such as previous caesarean sections, advanced maternal age, and post-term pregnancies.

Combining gold-standard clinical care with complementary therapies, Sarah ensures a positive, relaxed, and informed birthing experience for all.

Emma reynolds Consultant Midwife

Emma
Reynolds

ZEST Consultant Midwife

Qualified in 2009, Emma has worked in roles including hospital settings, striving for personalised maternity care, the community setting advocating for continuity of care and home births, and as a Consultant Midwife.

Emma Reynolds

ZEST Consultant Midwife

Emma qualified as a midwife in 2009 and has worked in a variety of roles including the hospital setting striving for personalised maternity experiences, the community setting advocating for continuity of care and home birth, and most recently she has worked as a Consultant Midwife. Her passion for women and their families to receive safe and inclusive care with personalised information is at the forefront of her work. 

Emma is thrilled to become part of Zest and progressing an alternative to NHS midwifery as she believes the aim to ensure midwives, and birth workers, feel valued in a supportive and caring environment is paramount in the maternity world. Importantly also, the values and aims are really aligned with what she believes are the fundamentals of midwifery – providing individualised and personalised continuity of care, and information so that birthing people have the information and informed choice that they truly deserve.

Emma will be Chair of the Kindness, Quality and Safety Collaborative (KQSC) to support a compassionate space for the multi-disciplinary team to provide respectful, individualised care, that fosters inclusivity and autonomy. 

Our KQSC – Kindness, Safety and Quality Collaborative

ZEST is now delighted to have formed a KQSC as we believe that although having collaborative and multidisciplinary teamwork is a goal of most maternity care systems and organisations, it is hard to achieve. For this to be realised and to be effective the boundaries of responsibility need to be re-drawn.

Denise Toran

Denise Tiran

ZEST KQSC Member

Dr Denise Tiran, internationally renowned authority on midwifery complementary therapies, is the CEO and Education Director for Expectancy, offering courses for midwives.

Denise Tiran

ZEST KQSC Member

Dr Denise Tiran, internationally renowned authority on midwifery complementary therapies, is the CEO and Education Director for Expectancy, offering courses for midwives. Dr Denise Tiran (HonDUniv FRCM MSc RM) is an internationally acclaimed authority on maternity complementary therapies, having pioneered the subject as a midwifery specialism in the early 1980s. She has been practising, teaching, researching and writing on complementary therapies for pregnancy and birth for almost 40 years. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Greenwich and a prestigious Fellowship from the Royal College of Midwives, in recognition of her 40 years’ work in this specialist field. Expectancy courses are Courses available both in the UK and overseas.

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