As their year-long fundraising drive for Bliss, the leading charity for babies born premature or sick draws to an end, colleagues across Childbase Partnership marked World Prematurity Day with a series of important awareness initiatives to support the worthy cause.
Throughout November, teams across the 43 nursery settings and Head Office have taken inspiration from the Bliss ‘Little Lights Walk’, completing walks around their individual nursery gardens and grounds with the children, armed with candles, lanterns or torches to ‘light the way’ for the 100,000 babies that are cared for in neonatal units every year in the UK.
As a result of the year of fundraising, Childbase Partnership have so far raised over £120,000 and counting for Bliss, with fundraising activities including a company-wide sleep out under the stars, team Snowdon climbs, marathons, sponsored silences, bake sales, charity auctions, dress up days and more, with a series of Christmas fundraisers still to go.
The money raised by Childbase Partnership families and colleagues will now go towards funding life-changing research and ensuring all babies in neonatal care have the best chance of survival, as well as supporting families and healthcare professionals.
The cause is close to the hearts of many across Childbase, including nursery parent Hannah Copeland, whose son Jacob attends Nature Trails Day Nursery in Rugby and was born prematurely at just 25 weeks, weighing only 885g. Having never heard of Bliss before Jacob’s birth, the charity became instrumental in the family’s journey.
“Before you experience NICU as a parent or carer it’s a completely unknown world, and you face it at the most overwhelming, emotional and stressful time of your life, hope and terror are mingled together. Having Bliss there to help prepare and explain was so helpful and made a huge difference to our understanding and experience.”
Whilst in hospital, Bliss was the family’s go-to trusted resource for information on conditions, treatment options and machinery, as well as being the steering group that supported family-centred care within the NICU, campaigning for tiny clothes to fit premature babies and funding research to reduce their pain as they are unable to demonstrate or communicate this.
“Jacob is doing really well now, he has the most incredible imagination; constantly telling stories, making up songs and re-enacting his favourite books, he loves the outdoors and generally can be found with a stick in his hand. Back inside he loves helping in the kitchen and is a keen baker. He has been going to Nature Trails Day Nursery since he was 12 months, actual 9 months corrected, their care and support has been amazing”, she added.
Fran Baldwin of Childbase Partnership’s Charity Department said;
“World Prematurity Day provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of premature birth and the sometimes devastating impact it can have on families. We are so proud of our incredible nursery colleagues who work tirelessly to plan and execute these fundraising initiatives, as well as our wonderfully generous nursery families who are unfailing with their support for this amazing charity. We are hugely proud to be supporting Bliss this year, and these donations will ensure more families get the care and compassion they deserve.”
World Prematurity Day took place on Thursday 17th November 2022.