A SUPPORT group for families who have used the neo-natal unit at St Richard’s Hospital, celebrated Christmas with a party last week.
The Little Wonders group, which meets once a month, held its Christmas party last Wednesday, at the Children’s Centre on St James’ Road.
Santa went along to give out presents kindly donated by John Lewis, and cake and coffee were available for the parents.
Lucy Neville-Davis spent three months in the neo-natal unit with her four-month-old twins Finley and Jasper who were born at 27 weeks.
She said: “The support was brilliant and it was difficult moving home! Everyone was really good with the babies and with us.
“This is the first time we have been to a Little Wonders meeting. It is good for support as it is different to having a normal baby.
“It is nice to meet up with like-minded people. We will definitely make an effort to come along.”
The group aims to provide a support group for parents who have spent time in the special care baby unit, normally because the babies have been born prematurely.
There are around 15 families who go along to the meetings, many who know each other from staying at St Richard’s.
Mel Sayers, mum to ten-month-old Harley, spent 18 days at the unit as Harley was born six-and-a-half weeks early.
She said the group was a great way of keeping in touch with other families you had met on the ward, and she started attending the meetings after it was set up in June.
“It is such a good way of meeting people who have been through similar things to you, and you can give each other advice.”
Andrea Field, who runs the group with her colleague Keira, works in the unit, and knows many of the mums and babies who come along.
She said: “We have mums come along until their babies are around 18 months, and it is lovely for them.
“Everyone assumes all the funding from the group is from the NHS, but we’ve had to raise it ourselves.
“John Lewis have been great, doing cake sales and collections to help keep us going, but we are always looking for fundraising ideas for the support group and for the neo-natal unit.”
To get more information about the group or if you would like to fundraise for the unit, call ward manager Zita Warren on 01243 831442.