Harris-Wellbeing Research Centre
Harris-Wellbeing Research Centre 


Published July 15, 2019


Lady Harris returns to Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre


L-R Jeremy Barratt (Wellbeing of Women), Juhi Gupta (Harris-Wellbeing), Dr Angharad Care (Harris-Wellbeing), Lady Harris, Professor Zarko Alfirevic (Harris-Wellbeing), Janet Lindsay (Wellbeing of Women), Dr Sarah Arrowsmith (Harris-Wellbeing), Dr Laura Goodfellow (Harris-Wellbeing)

Lady Harris returned to Liverpool this month (10 July 2019) to see how a Harris-Wellbeing research grant worth £1 million and awarded in 2014 continues to help preterm babies and their mothers today.

The generous donation from Lord and Lady Harris of Peckham, who have supported the Wellbeing of Women charity for 30 years, established the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust in 2015.

The grant has funded preterm birth research, support for pregnant women and families, and public education about preterm birth for five years. Lady Harris met with staff and families whose lives have been changed thanks to the Centre’s programme of research to improve understanding of the causes of preterm birth and what can be done to prevent it.

During the visit Lady Harris met with patients being monitored for twin births at the Fetal Medicine Unit, a clinic run by Dr Andrew Sharp, Professor Alfirevic, the Clinic Manager (Jackie Holian) and Midwives (Claire Coonan and Jennifer Robinson).

Following this, two members of the Centre’s Public Involvement / Engagement Group (PPIE), which consists of women and families who have used Centre’s services, met with Lady Harris. Joanne Johnson and Emily Benbow spoke about the Centre’s in-clinic and online support services, such as the Harris-Wellbeing Peer Support Closed Facebook group for those with direct experience of preterm birth.

Research programme

Researchers from the Centre gave brief presentations about their achievements since the last visit and their research and its impact to date. They also provided details of ongoing collaborations and soon-to-be published research findings.

Finally, a number of nurses and midwives in the Neonatal Unit updated Lady Harris on the Trust’s new building project, the Low Dependency Baby Unit, and the new on-site parent accommodation.

Professor Alfirevic, said: “We were delighted to welcome our donor Lady Harris once again to the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre to meet the staff and families whose lives have been changed by our support. Our goal at the Centre is to help develop a personalised approach to risk assessment for women who are pregnant and have had preterm birth in a previous pregnancy. We also need a personalised approach to effective and safe treatments.

“During the visit we were proud to introduce Lady Harris to the researchers and staff helping us to achieve these goals and provide an update on our ongoing research projects.”

Vital support

Janet Lindsay, Chief Executive – Wellbeing of Women, said: “60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year; many of these babies don’t survive, and those that do are often left with life-long disabilities. That is why investing in research in this area is so vital. We are incredibly grateful for Lord and Lady Harris’ continued support for the prevention and treatment of premature birth. The Harris-Wellbeing Centre has saved the lives of hundreds of precious babies and positively impacted hundreds of families. It was an honour to hear about the pioneering work, and meet with the patients whose lives have been changed.”

Families also attended from Little Heartbeats, an organisation who want to raise awareness of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes. With input from Little Heartbeats, Harris Preterm Birth Centre researchers will be collaborating with the UK Obstetric surveillance survey (UKOSS) to conduct a UK-wide survey of pregnancies with very early rupture of membranes later this year.

For more information about the centre can be found here. 

L-R Lady Harris, Annabelle Benbow (daughter of a Peer Support Volunteer) and Professor Zarko Alfirevic

December 2017

Prima women's magazine - Christmas edition

'Our miracle babies are a Christmas wish come true'

Thank you to Liza Wilson and her partner, Thomas for sharing their story with Wellbeing of Women and Prima women's magazine.


Photograph (Isabella, Liza and George)


The full article can be downloaded in PDF format below.

Our miracle babies are a Christmas wish come true
Our miracle babies feature and photograp[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [905.9 KB]


PHOTO (left to right) Jessica Chase, River Chase, Dr Angharad Care, Lady Harris and Professor Zarko Alfirevic


Lady Harris sees how the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre supports mums and babies


The generous donor met with staff and families in Liverpool whose lives have been changed thanks to the Centre’s support                                                                      


Lady Harris visited the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre on 2 November 2017 to see how the £1million grant in 2014 has helped preterm babies.


The Centre, which is hosted by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, is home to a research programme aimed at improving understanding of what causes preterm birth and what can be done to prevent it. 


Lady Harris spoke with Jessica Chase, 27, who tragically lost her baby girl, Maggie, just two hours after she was born, in November 2014.


Baby Maggie’s short life was spent surrounded by the beeping machines and hospital staff while her family watched over her.


In 2015, when Jessica found out she was pregnant again, she was referred to the Harris-Wellbeing Centre for support.  In August 2016, Jessica gave birth to a baby Maggie’s brother, River, who is now a thriving 15-month-old.


Improving understanding


Jessica said, “The Centre provided me with a tremendous amount of support. Following my experience of losing River’s sister I was extremely anxious that something could go wrong again.


I wanted guarantees of everything which of course is impossible. The staff were fantastic with me, giving me advice and reassurance throughout my pregnancy. They even provided me with scans when I asked which also helped me through.


"The Centre provided me with a tremendous amount of support" 


They helped me feel more confident about my ability to carry my pregnancy to full term. The support they provide is exactly what you need in a subsequent pregnancy like the one I had particularly as anxiety is not good for you or the baby.


Also by assisting in this vital research I am doing my bit to help researchers understand the causes of preterm birth and ultimately helping families who experience it.”




Thanks to the excellent care Jessica received at the unit, and to honour her daughter’s legacy, the mum launched an online fundraising campaign.


The campaign, which had an initial target of £200, raised an incredible £1,000, thanks to Jessica’s friends and family.


This money will help the centre to provide support for current and future families that pass through its doors.


Mothers and babies benefitting


In 2014, Wellbeing of Women awarded a Harris Research Grant worth £1m to the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women’s Hospital over five years to enable the opening of the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre.


The grant was made possible through the personal generosity of Lord and Lady Harris of Peckham.


Professor Zarko Alfirevic, Centre Director said, “We were delighted to welcome our donor Lady Harris and to introduce her to our research team working in the Centre.


Lady Harris showed great interest in the exciting laboratory research on uterine contractility and our international collaborations in multiomic science related to preterm birth. The highlight of her visit was a meeting with mothers who gave birth prematurely and their babies who participated in our research studies before they were born.”


Tina Weaver, Wellbeing of Women's CEO said, "Thousands of babies are born every day so early and so tiny, they're on the cusp of survival. Yet in most case none knows why.


Lord and Lady Harris and Wellbeing of Women have established the Harris Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre to find out what is causing so many women to go into labour early so preventative treatments can be found.


It was thrilling to see - with Lady Harris - the research teams in action and meet the mothers and babies that are benefiting from the work."


8 September 2017

3rd Annual UK Preterm Birth Conference, Leeds 

Congratulation to Dr Angharad Eastwood, nee Care who won a prize for her presentation "Three Arm Randomised Trial of Cervical Cerclage, Arabin Pessary and Vaginal Progesterone to Prevent Spontaneous Preterm Birth in Asymptomatic High Risk Women; a feasibility study (RECAP)".


PHOTO (from left to right) Dr Lindsay Kindinger (Imperial College London), Mr Nigel Simpson (University of Leeds), Dr Angharad Eastwood, nee Care (Harris-Wellbeing PTB Centre)  

5 April 2017

Meeting with Lady Harris 

Professor Susan Wray and Dr Angharad Care presented an overview of the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre's activities to Lady Harris.

2 March 2017

Annual Women's Lunch - Wellbeing of Women

Dr Angharad Care spoke movingly about the million plus babies and toddlers who die every year as a direct result  of preterm birth.  She explained that just keeping a baby in the womb for an extra week hugely increases their chances of

survival and lessons the risk of complex health issues.  


Photograph (from left to right) Dr David Jeevan, Dr Angharad Care, Dr Alex Ridout, Professor Lesley Regan, Dr Nicola Tempest, Sir Victor Blank

22 January 2017

Liverpool Echo

'Little miracles! Meet the premature babies who survived against all the odds'

Including comments from Dr Angharad Care, Clinical Research Fellow at Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre, Liverpool 'The Impact of Premature Birth'


To read the full article, follow this link:


17 November 2016

University of Liverpool 

'The Liverpool View: World Prematurity Day'

Dr Angharad Care is a University of Liverpool Clinical Research Fellow based at the Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre in the Liverpool Women's Hospital.


To read the full article, follow this link:  


17 November 2016

Daily Mail femail MAGAZINE

'Most agonising dilemma any mother can face'

Article - Dr Angharad Care, Clinical Research Fellow at Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre, Liverpool


With great compassion but also clinical honesty, a leading doctor reveals the truth about very premature babies - and the stark choices they present for parents and medics.


To read the full article, follow this link:


31 October 2016

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

'The Bernhard Baron Travelling Fellowship 2016'

Dr Angharad Care has been awarded a Bernhard Baron Travelling Fellowship for a three week visit to March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centre Ohio Collaborative to learn necessary skills in big data interpretation and bioinformatics.

24 & 31 July 2016

BBC Radio 5 Live

'5 Life' takes a modern look at the challenges many people face when trying to start a family

With contributions from Professor Susan Wray, Dr Sarah Arrowsmith, Dr Angharad Care, Dr Laura Goodfellow and patients of the Fetal Medicine Unit at Liverpool Women's Hospital.


In the first programme of a two part series, "Anna Foster investigates why can it be so difficult to conceive a baby".


In the second part "Anna also visits the doctors and scientists at the Liverpool based Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre, who are conducting research to try and understand why preterm birth happens and what can be done to prevent it". 


Thank you to patients from the Liverpool Women's Hospital, Fetal Medicine Unit for their contribution to this programme.


Both programmes are available via the 5 Live website or the radio player.


20 May 2016

BBC News

Are there still taboos around childbirth?

Interview with Professor Susan Wray


Many mothers' birth plans end up in the bin, with their baby born via an emergency Caesarean or with labour induced.  And in some cases, complications after delivery lead to a mother fighting for her life.


To read the full article, follow this link:


21 January 2016
The Guardian: This is the NHS: a day in the life of the UK's busiest maternity centre

Interview with Professor Zarko Alfirevic

To read the full article, follow this link:


10 December 2015

Research Fortnight

Supporting women in childbirth and research

Article - Professor Susan Wray


Download the full article:

Supporting Women in Childbirth and Research: Susan Wray
Research Professional
Supporting Women in Childbirth and Resea[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]

18 November 2014
University of Liverpool Press Release

Liverpool to establish Centre for preterm birth 


To read the full article, follow this link:




Wellbeing of Women Press Release
Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Centre


To read the full article, follow this link:





We are located at:

Harris-Wellbeing Research Centre

University of Liverpool

1st Floor, Liverpool Women's Hospital

Crown Street


L8 7SS

Get social with us.