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Amy Walker, Midwifery mixed with island life

Amy has lived on the Isle of Man since September 2019. Amy moved to the island to work as a Midwife on the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit after working for 10 years as a midwife in Wales and a period of time as a midwifery educator in India. She had always wanted to experience island life both personally and professionally - and she hasn't looked back!

How long have you lived on the Isle of Man and what made you move here?

I have lived on the Isle of Man since September 2019. I moved to the island to work as a Midwife on the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit after working for 10 years as a midwife in Wales and a period of time as a midwifery educator in India.  I have always wanted to experience island life both personally and professionally and being a big motorbike fan, I couldn’t think of a better place to experience this than the Isle of Man with its notorious TT circuit.

How would you describe it to someone who has never been?

The Isle of Man really and truly is a hidden gem! There are so many beautiful places, all over the island to visit, and each one different in its own way


How did you find a job on the Isle of Man?

I was always interested in working as a Midwife on an island and experiencing island life within a smaller midwifery unit. Whilst doing my research, I came across the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit and contacted the Head of Midwifery to discuss career opportunities here. I had seen an agency was recruiting on temporary contracts, so this was a great opportunity for me to experience what it was really like. After 6 months of working with an agency, I applied for a full time contracted job and relocated here


Tell us about your job within Midwifery – what do you enjoy most about it?

After speaking to the head of midwifery about what the unit had to offer, I couldn’t wait to commence my role as a midwife here. The continuity model that it offers was a real highlight for me as being able to stay with birthing people and their partners from admission, throughout labour and postnatally is a really exciting aspect of midwifery care for me. Typically in the UK working as a midwife in larger units means being rotated around specific areas within midwifery. Here on the Isle of Man you get to see all areas of midwifery practice in the same day and this makes the job so much more satisfying.  Being able to build a rapport with birthing people and their families really does make such a positive difference both to the people we care for, and personally as a midwife.

We are constantly kept on our toes here, development in all areas of midwifery at all times is so important due to the nature of the layout and this again, makes the job so much more rewarding and satisfying. Our close knit team also makes this much more enjoyable because we all offer each other support with whatever we need. It is very much a friendly and supportive team to work in.


Do you feel there is career progression for you on the Isle of Man?

Career progression was an important factor for me when considering whether to relocate to the Isle of Man. I qualified in 2010 and it felt like the time for me to progress in my career. I was looking to be able to progress into more of a teaching and education role and 1 year into my permanent contract, was successfully appointed as the Practice Development Facilitator for the care group. This meant progression from a band 6 to a band 7 role which is exactly what I was hoping to achieve and the job I always longed for.

The team here are very encouraging and supportive with aspirations of progression and are always happy to listen and discuss how they can support you with this.


How was your experience moving to the Isle of Man? (Applying for a work permit, immigration, gaining a visa)

Relocating to the Isle of Man was no trouble at all. I was given a great relocation package, including up to £7,000 toward travel and removal costs, a £1,000 bonus at 1 month, 12 months and 24 months of employment and the offer of £250 per month towards accommodation costs for the first 2 years. This made the move very smooth and a lot less stressful.


What difference has living on the Isle of Man made to your work-life balance? How do you spend your free time?

The work life balance here is amazing. I was initially concerned that moving to a new place away from my friends and family would be tough. However, I have never been happier. The amount of activities and opportunities available to people here are far more than I ever experienced in the UK. At the age of 34, I thought it would be difficult to start or try new things and to meet new people, however, having never tried it before; I joined a kayaking and outdoor adventure club. A year in and I have a whole new ‘Kayaking family’ and have developed so many new skills and explored the Isle of Man’s beautiful coastline and wildlife like I never thought I would. I now kayak with the club every Sunday, and go off island for adventurous club trips as well as meeting up with friends from the club for social paddles during the week. The opportunity this community has brought me since joining is immeasurable and has allowed me to settle into island life with ease and comfort.

I also get out walking around the island as much as possible. I really love the fact that you can travel just a short distance and the surroundings are completely different, meaning you always experience something new and exciting.  I enjoy walking up summits around the island and experiencing the different panoramic hill top views that it has to offer. It really is a stunning place to live and have down time after work


What’s the best-kept secret on the Isle of Man?

The Isle of Man has some incredible beaches and bays along its coastline, incorporating some amazing caves to explore. One of my favourites is the Western coastline stretching from Peel to Port Erin. The water is so blue and tropical looking; it gives you that ‘holiday feel’ all the time. The views are simply breath-taking.


What opportunities has living on the Isle of Man given you/your family?

Living on the Isle of Man has enabled me to start a new hobby that I now feel is a massive part of my life; it has given me confidence, and enabled me to have the best work life balance possible.  I am able to throw myself into new challenges and experiences with the support of other likeminded individuals. There are so many different outdoor experience opportunities that come rain or shine are guaranteed to brighten up my day!


Why would you recommend the Isle of Man to others looking to relocate and what would be your top tips?

If you are looking for a well-balanced work and personal life, with a bit of everything to offer, the Isle of Man is for you. The people here are friendly and welcoming and the community feel wherever you go really stands out. My advice would be to explore everywhere and everything, because after 2 years here, I am still discovering new and beautiful places. It is the place that keeps on giving!