OXFORD families gathered at the John Radcliffe Hospital to say 'Happy Birthday' to the Spires birthing unit on it's 10th anniversary.

More than 70 people, including parents who had given birth there, staff members and expectant mothers went along to Level 7 of the Women’s Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital for the celebration to say thank you to the staff.

The anniversary event provided an opportunity have midwives the chance to be reunited with babies they helped deliver, and their parents with many considering the day to be a 'family reunion' of sorts.

The birthday cake was cut by 10-year-old Agnes whose mum was among the very first women to use the facility.

Head of Midwifery Rosalie Wright said: “The Spires was created 10 years ago to give women in Oxford the choice to have a different birth experience.

"It was designed to be a benefit for the community and the community have been involved throughout its development."

Joining in the celebrations were the Kenny family with mum Hannah having given birth to their two children at the Spires.

Speaking about when her first child was delivered, Hannah said: “I had a five hour labour that went very well.

"I was given a big room where the midwives helped me exercise and move in order to speed up the labour.

“The staff were so caring and I had such a great experience that I quickly wanted a second one."

Her second child was born in April at the Spires after only 30 minutes in labour.

She added: “It was very quick - but I still remember the amazing tea and toast I was given after delivering the baby."

There has been a total of 8,343 babies delivered at The Spires, since its opening in September 2008.

As well as parents with children born at the Spires, many expecting parents took the opportunity to have a tour of the facility's five birthing rooms, including birthing pools and double rooms where parents can stay overnight with their newborn babies.

Ms Wright said: “After 10 years and over 8,000 babies born here I can say that the Spires has been a great success, but this could not have happened without the help we have received to keep the unit the lovely, fresh but homely place it looks today.

"The trust has always been very supportive and the League of Friends funded a lot of our equipment.

"Many women who had their children here have been very generous with their donations to us.

"Finally, a big thank you goes to the amazing midwives who have run the Spires in such a fantastic way.”

For more information about the unit visit www.ouh.nhs.uk/women/