Julie Green is a Midwifery Lecturer at the University of Hull. She is a registered midwife and qualified childbirth educator. She and her business partner set up Birth and Beyond Consultancy in 2006 and since then, they have become renowned for providing education for childbirth that is realistic and fun.
Julie received an Award of £15,000 through UnLtd and Hefce in 2010. At this stage, her Company was just about to launch a new venture - a cafe called Beyond Coffee. The Award helped to cover Julie's loss of earnings as she moved to a part time role at the University in order to free up time to develop her social enterprise.
Beyond Coffee 'takes health to the high street'. As well as providing a place for local people to meet and relax, the building has training space where health promotion services are delivered. Birth and Beyond delivers childbirth education on behalf of the local NHS Trust. The space is also used by other practitioners to provide services such as breastfeeding peer support, natalhypnotherapy, baby resuscitation; and holistic therapies.
Since taking on the NHS contract, over 2500 women have benefited from childbirth education, as well as their partners, birth partners and friends. The Cafe is also becoming renowned as a welcoming space for families to come and relax, and recently won a Mumsnet Award for being a great place for families to eat.
Julie runs the venture alongside her role at the University, which provides some mutual benefits. For example, Birth and Beyond offers placements to midwifery students. Recently, Julie worked with postgraduate students from the University's Enterprise Centre as part of a new scheme called voucherSquirrel, due to launch in East Yorkshire in 2012. The Faculty of Health has an increasing focus on innovation, and Julie anticipates further interest in her work in the future as a result of this.
The Business currently employs some 30 people part time and is financially sustainable. The future looks bright, and Julie is weighing up several options for growth, including expansion in Hull, franchising in other areas and developing the range of services provided for the NHS.