Phoebe Mortimer


Phoebe Mortimer has been responsible for the design and implementation of Birth Rites’ research and public programmes. A 27-year-old mother of one, based in Manchester, she graduated with a BA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2002 and went on to do an MA in English at Manchester University. She spent time as a visitor at Columbia University in New York, studying sociology and fine art photography in 1998. During her studies she volunteered in a local community centre and mentored young people at risk in East London. She gave birth to her daughter Ismay in Wythenshawe Hospital in January 2004. Since then she has worked as a phone counsellor for Childline, has been a project co-ordinator for an environmental art organisation and has set up as a freelance researcher. She got involved with Birth Rites following a discussion about birth with Helen at a playgroup. In 2005, she won an award from Millennium UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, and in May 2006 gained further UnLtd funding in order to develop Birth Rites’ Public Programmes. She also won a place on an UnLtd Learning Journey to India in where she and nine other award winners met social entrepreneurs in South India. She was able to visit midwives and a hospital in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and learn about childbirth practice there. She became a director of Birth Rites Exhibition in Spring 2006.