Dreamdrops children’s charity launches Christmas Appeal

Nurse Natalie SlayfordMost of us remember our babies’ first Christmas like it was yesterday; but where do you turn when your baby is born sick or premature? The Special Care Baby Unit run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust on the Hinchingbrooke Hospital site provides all the care, love and support babies and their families need at what can be the most stressful time in a young family’s life; not just at Christmas but 365 days a year.
Dreamdrops, the Huntingdonshire Children’s Charity has launched its Christmas Appeal to raise money to buy all the things that public funds cannot afford, to make a stay on the unit more comfortable or less stressful for babies and their families.

Kate Rivett, Neonatal Manager at the Special Care Baby Unit explains: “We are so grateful to the Charity and local people for their continued support for the babies and families we care for. There are many different reasons for a baby to be admitted to the special care baby unit, whether they are born earlier than expected, need short term intensive care or longer term high dependency care. They may need help with their feeding, temperature control or weight gain and are often on ventilators if they are unable to breathe for themselves. It can be overwhelming for parents to have a special care baby, so supporting them to participate in their child’s care on the unit as well as ensuring the emotional needs of parents are met is just as important to our dedicated specialist doctors and nurses as providing hands on care to the babies.”

Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the Dreamdrops charity added: “The Special Care Baby Unit is a beacon of excellence. We hear so many heart warming stories from parents whose babies’ have spent the first few months of their lives being cared for on the Unit and their gratitude to the doctors and nurses is overwhelming. We’d like to urge our local community – families, schools, businesses – to get behind our appeal and raise or give as much as they can at this special time of year. No donation is too small and will really make a difference to the babies and families cared for on the unit in 2015. For example, donations could be used to purchase positioning aids to help premature babies maintain their muscle balance, through to more expensive pieces of equipment such as Optiflow devices which help babies to breathe properly and maintain their blood oxygen levels if they are having problems with their lungs.”

Dylan is an Inspiration

Dylan Ward and Kate Rivett Neonatal Manager

Dylan Ward and Kate Rivett Neonatal Manager

If you’re looking for inspiration before deciding to contribute, then look no further than Dylan Ward who was born at 25 weeks and 5 days, weighed a tiny 1.8lbs at birth and spent two months on the Special Care Baby Unit. Dylan donated his seventh birthday money recently to the Unit.

Dylan’s mum Wanda said: “Dylan had been watching Red Nose Day on TV and wanted to know why people were raising money. He originally asked if he could give toys to the babies but I explained that poorly babies tend to sleep a lot and that they didn’t re­ally play with toys. So he asked if he could have money for his birthday instead. Family and friends ‘gifts’ totalled £300.  Dylan received treatment on the unit when born prematurely. The care he received was amazing. It was a real roller coaster ride but the staff were brilliant and really supported the whole family through this traumatic time. He is now fit and healthy and he wanted to give something back to the unit for all their help and support. We are really proud of him!”

Commenting on Dylan’s donation, Kate Rivett said: “All the staff on the unit think Dylan is a very special boy – the money he raised was used to fund play equipment for some of the older, longer term babies on the Unit.”

How to Donate

To give to the Dreamdrops Special Care Baby Unit Christmas Appeal you can donate on this website or send a cheque made payable to Huntingdon Children’s charity to Vivien Golding, Dreamdrops Charity Administrator, Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust, Unit 3 Meadow Lane, St. Ives PE27 4LG

However you decide to donate, please ensure you leave a message on our just giving site or write on the back of your cheque that you’d like your donation to go towards the Special Care Baby Unit Christmas Appeal. Don’t forget to include your address so that we can write to thank you for your donation!
Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year from everyone at the Dreamdrops Charity and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Special Care Baby Unit.