Francine Bates, the Chief Executive of the charity, collected the award on Alison’s behalf.

Run in partnership with the NHS, the CONI programme is the only maternity support service for bereaved parents who are planning another baby.

Alison has been instrumental in setting up the CONI programme and has led the team since launch in 1988. Alison works with around 500 dedicated CONI co-ordinators who each ensure that families receive support packages tailored to their personal needs.

Parents on the CONI programme can be provided with regular home visits from health visitors, a weight chart and weighing scales to monitor their child’s development. They can also gain access to breathing monitors and receive resuscitation training.

‘It is a great honour to have been awarded the CPHVA Team Manager award,’ says Alison.

‘We support parents bereaved by sudden infant death, and parents anxious for other reasons, when they are caring for young babies. Many are very vulnerable and deprived and their babies are high risk.

‘Intense health visiting is a fundamental part of CONI and is consistently rated by parents as a key part of the programme’s success. It is clear that core health visiting skills really do make a difference to families in distress.’