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Lifeline given to parents with poorly babies in hospital

The parents of very sick newborn babies and babies with heart problems in the North of England have been offered a lifeline to help them get through difficult times when their children are in hospital.

We are announcing our support for Tiny Lives Trust and the Red Sky Foundation for a second year running with a £18,000 donation to pay for the transport of hundreds of families to and from hospital, to visit their poorly babies, for a whole year.

We are gifting the Tiny Lives scheme £15,000, following the success of the firm’s £10,000 donation last year which supported 362 families who had babies in neo-natal care.

Red Sky Foundation’s transport scheme which supports families of children undergoing heart surgery, has received £3,000 from us. We gave Red Sky a £2,000 donation in 2023 which provided fuel costs for a number of families.

The two charities’ transport schemes enable parents to spend invaluable time with their sick children by removing the financial burden of transport. Since the cost-of-living crisis, the charities have seen a significant increase in the need for their vital transport support scheme.

The donation will buy hospital parking permits for parents with a car and pay for public transport travel passes for those that don’t, and for those in the greatest hardship, help with fuel costs.

Joe, whose son Alexander was on the unit at the RVI hospital in Newcastle, is a parent who has benefitted from Tiny Lives’ transport programme. They said: “Tiny Lives gave us a parking permit, which was a massive weight off our shoulders. I’m not sure we could have afforded to be there every day with the car, without that support. It was massively appreciated.”

It is estimated that neonatal families in England are forced to lose on average, £405 a week when their baby is in hospital, which includes travel, parking, food and drink, childcare for siblings and loss of earnings. For many families, these unexpected expenses cannot be absorbed and without financial assistance, visiting their baby as much as they want to, would not be possible.

Rachel Hardwick, Funding & Partnerships Officer at Tiny Lives, said: “We cannot thank TT2 enough for its support. Donations like this one help us provide a valuable safety net for parents entering a world completely out of their control by supplying items, funds, staff specialists and support networks to help make their neonatal journeys a little easier.”

Our chief operating officer, Shaun Simmons, said: “One of the key purposes of our community fund is to provide safe and efficient transport connections by working with causes that provide, or support vital transport in the region. We also encourage and promote safe travel through partnerships with charities and organisations.

“Having a premature or poorly newborn baby can be one of the most difficult and life-changing challenges a family can experience, so when we heard we could play a part in supporting parents in this terrible position, we were delighted to do so.”

We work closely with many North East charities that support vital transport. The firm has previously fuelled the fleet of Daft as a Brush charity for a year to help get cancer patients to and from treatment appointments for free and the Northumbria Blood Bikes, as well as a partnership with St John Ambulance to fund a new community support vehicle and 30 community support bikes and a campaign for safety and first aid.

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