Volunteering with AIMS

"We support all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaign for a system that truly meets the needs of all"

AIMS is run by a small team of Volunteers, and we always gratefully welcome more.

If you would like to volunteer for AIMS, we would love to hear from you! Our email contact is volunteer@aims.org.uk

In order to volunteer you need to be a member of AIMS, but we are able to offer a reduced rate if paying the full fee would be a problem for you.

AIMS Volunteers are organised into teams: small groups of Volunteers responsible for carrying out different parts of AIMS work. As a Volunteer you will join one or more of these teams depending on your interests, skillset, experience and the time you have available to volunteer. Each Team has a Team Lead who is responsible for overseeing the work of the team, training and support for team members and organising team meetings. As an AIMS Volunteer you will be expected to participate regularly in the work of the team(s) to which you belong and attend Team and All Volunteer meetings.

Here is some information about the roles of the different teams. There are also details of specific vacancies we are looking to fill here

If you are not able to commit to volunteering with AIMS on a regular basis you might be interested in joining our Peer Reviewers Register and/or Specialists Register.

Admin Team

The Admin team carries out a range of vital functions which enable the other Volunteer teams and the whole of AIMS to function effciently. Team members will have one or more of the following roles:

  • Peer review of AIMS books, Birth Information pages and Journal articles
  • Proofreading Birth Information pages and Journal articles
  • Uploading website content on behalf of other Teams
  • IT support managing the IT used by Volunteers. This includes
    • Membership and Helpline databases
    • Management of our website infrastructure
    • Google Workspace for document and email management
    • Reporting on website, helpline and other statistics
  • Membership admin
  • Fundraising

Birth Information Team

The Birth Information Team manages the production and maintenance of the Birth Information section on the AIMS website. Roles include:

  • reviewing and prioritising current pages which need updating
  • prioritising new pages required and identifying authors for these
  • liaising with authors
  • editing drafts
  • organising peer review, proofreading and website uploading.

The main requirement is a good eye for detail when editing/proofreading.

.See the Birth Information pages here: Birth Information Pages.

Campaigns Team

The purpose of the AIMS Campaigns team is to provide both a focused resource to progress key campaigns, and the expertise to lead/support short-term campaigning work, such as responding to consultations and reviewing reports or research papers relating to the maternity services.

The key requirements are a passion for improving the maternity services, a general understanding of the maternity services landscape, attention to detail and the ability to explain things clearly in writing. Planning and organisational skills and/or ability to understand and critique clinical research would also be helpful.

As well as getting involved in short-term projects and campaigning activities, all Campaigns Team Volunteers will join either the Campaigns Steering Group or one of the following working groups that focus on key areas of AIMS campaigning.

  1. Physiology-informed Maternity Services
  2. Continuity of Carer Working
  3. Better Births Implementation
  4. Equity

Some examples of our responses and campaigns can be found here: AIMS Campaigning .

Please note that we aim to offer all Volunteers the opportunity to get involved in AIMS ad-hoc campaigning work so you do not have to be a member of the AIMS Campaigns Team to play a valuable role in our campaigns work.

Helpline Team

This team responds to enquiries from maternity service users and those who support them, providing information and support on pregnancy and birth issues. Enquiries come by email or phone (using a call handling service). Helpline volunteers do not give medical advice, but instead focus on helping people to find the information that they need to make informed decisions which are right for them, and supporting them to have their decision respected by their doctors and midwives. They are also able to provide a listening ear and practical support for those who are unhappy with their experiences of the maternity services.

New members will be mentored by an experienced Helpline Volunteer.

To join this team you need to be an experienced doula, antenatal educator or breastfeeding counsellor. However, please note that if you are medically qualified or training for a medical role (e.g. as a midwife, doctor, nurse or health visitor) you will not be able to join the Helpline team, but we will welcome your knowledge and experience in other areas of AIMS work.

Publications Team

The role of the Publications team is to commission authors to write AIMS books and prepare these for publication. We are developing new books with a series title of “The AIMS Guide to…” Several titles have already been published and we have a group of authors working on further books on vital topics. Our current publications can be viewed and purchased from the AIMS Shop.

Social Media Team

Social Media team volunteers manage all AIMS Social Media activities across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to support our campaigning, promote AIMS resources and build awareness of AIMS. They create images and captions to go with text supplied by other Teams, manage the approvals process and scheduling.

Roles include Image Creator (using Canva), Scheduler (using Later) and Post Request Monitor.

Training will be provided, but familiarity with posting on various social media platforms, use of Canva and/or Later, and the use of spreadsheets for work planning would be helpful.

Peer Reviewers Register

AIMS books and Birth Information pages have long benefitted from our process of ‘peer review’, with a mix of expert and lay readers providing critical comments and suggestions. These Peer Reviewers play a vital role in assuring the quality and fitness for purpose of all our published material.

We are developing a register of people who would be willing to volunteer to do this from time to time for new books and Birth Information webpages. If you are not in a position to volunteer for AIMS on a regular basis, this is a great way of supporting our work - as well as giving you a sneak preview of new AIMS material. You can decide how much you do, depending on your time availability and interests.

We are particularly keen to hear from people with research knowledge, understanding of statistics, and/or specialist knowledge of a topic, but it’s also really helpful to have people who can comment from the perspective of our main audience - individual maternity service users and their families.

You will need to attend a short training session, and make sure that you are familiar with AIMS policies, position papers and language guidance.

If you’d like to know more please contact admin@aims.org.uk

Specialists Register

If you are not in a position to commit the time required to be an active AIMS volunteer but support our mission and have specialist knowledge or experience that it would be useful for AIMS to draw on, we'd like to invite you to join our Specialists Register. This is a list of people who would be able and willing to help us with individual pieces of work from time to time. This might include things like helping us update or draft a position paper or Birth Information webpage, commenting on a document or piece of research, or contributing to a consultation in your area of interest.

If you would be willing for us to keep your details for this purpose, or want to know more, please contact admin@aims.org.uk

Latest Content

Journal

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Just ‘birth’: the phenomenon of bir…

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Editor’s note: AIMS is honoured to present Mariamni’s research study in which she interviews 10 women who gave birth without a healthcare…

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An interview with Dr Rebecca Moore…

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Interview by Alex Smith Hello Rebecca, thank you for agreeing to answer some questions about your work with Make Birth Better. I wonder i…

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Postpartum: A short story

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Editor’s note: This is a fictional account of the state of mind of a mother suffering postnatal illness. As such, it is a powerful and di…

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Events

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The Foundation Stones for Supportin…

‘The Foundation Stones for Supporting the Physiological Process in Pregnancy and Birth’ is led by Alex Smith (AIMS Journal Editor and Helpline volunteer) supported by Deb…

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AIMS Workshop: Focus on Resolution

Join us for the an interactive online AIMS workshop " Focus on Resolution " with Dr Rebecca Moore . Rebecca who is a Consultant Psychiatrist and founding member of Make B…

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Next steps for NICE in England

This conference will discuss next steps for NICE in delivering innovation and supporting clinical practice in health and social care in England. It is bringing stakeholde…

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Latest Campaigns

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BICS Conference poster: AIMS Campai…

AIMS Campaigns Team volunteers are presenting a poster about our campaign for Physiology-Informed Maternity Services at the 2023 conference of the British Intrapartum Car…

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Review: National Cohort study on in…

This is a review of the paper (https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004259%20 ) published on July 20, 2023 by researchers at St George’…

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SWEPIS – The Swedish Post-term Indu…

The evidence on whether there is a benefit in inducing labour if a pregnancy would otherwise last beyond 41 or 42 weeks is far from clear. 1 The SWEPIS study 2 , publishe…

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