A Glasgow charity has beaten more than 500 other contenders across the UK to clinch a prestigious national award.

Amma Birth Companions was recognised for its work to improve the health, well-being, and birthing experiences of pregnant women in vulnerable circumstances including asylum seekers and refugees.

Founded in 2019, the charity was one of the 10 winners of the 2024 GSK IMPACT Awards which are delivered in partnership with care charity The King’s Fund.

The awards acknowledge the outstanding work of small and medium-sized charities that improve people’s health and well-being in the UK.

Maree Aldam, chief executive officer of Amma Birth Companions, said: "We are deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award.

"This recognition fuels our dedication to enhancing maternal wellbeing and reinforces the significance of our efforts to tackle systemic disparities in perinatal care."

Amma Birth Companions will get £40,000 in unrestricted funding along with leadership guidance and expert support from The King’s Fund.

The charity's work is crucial for numerous women, often asylum seekers or individuals with insecure immigration status, who are up against multiple disadvantages potentially resulting in poor birth outcomes and giving birth alone.

Significantly, data shows alarming racial disparities in maternal mortality rates, with women from Black or Asian ethnic backgrounds at higher risk than white women.

Some of these mothers survive on just over £6 a day of state-provided aid and face childbirth alone with no support network.

Amma will publish findings on birth experiences, spotlighting systemic disparities their clients face, such as poor and discriminatory practices, inadequate interpreter provision, and high rates of intervention.

Recommendations to create a more equitable maternal care system for those most severely affected by adverse maternal health outcomes will be detailed.

Katie Pinnock, director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK, said:  “Amma Birth Companions is a small but incredibly effective charity, giving voice and choice to marginalised women such as asylum seekers at a crucial time in their lives.

"As the only charity in Scotland specialising in this work, its services are critical to prevent poor birth outcomes among some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable mothers and to give their babies the best possible start in life.

"In addition to its targeted support services for pregnant women and new mothers, Amma is also driving improvements in maternity care in Scotland, by using the lived experience of the women it supports to directly shape government policy.”