Hello and welcome to the SNUG newsletter!
Our newsletter may have been hibernating during a long and chilly January, but we have been far from lying low and have been busy bees behind the scenes as usual! But what have we been up to? Read on…
Home Sweet Home
First up we have the best news of all, that several of the babies we met on the neonatal unit have been discharged home and are thriving with their families. Congratulations to Scott who was let loose on Christmas Eve (born at 25+3 weeks weighing 1lb 14oz, pictured), Sofia (born at 29 weeks weighing 2lb) and Max (born at 31 weeks weighing 4lb 11oz) who came home in the new year and are just as gorgeous. We can't wait to see you all again soon for cake and catch up! Also a big happy birthday to the many snug bugs who in the last few months have turned 1, 2 and even 3 *lets off party poppers* and their brave mummies and daddies.
Comfort Bag update
Beginning on World Prematurity Day and during the run up to Christmas, if you follow our Facebook page or Twitter, you will have heard all about our Comfort Bag Campaign! SNUG have been putting together comfort bags with essential toiletries and details of how to contact us for the RD&E NNU for a while now in various guises but during the last year, the bags became more than just functional. We know how precious little keepsakes can be from the neonatal unit, and with the help of our members, came up with a design to print lots more to continue giving them out through 2016! Our aim was to raise enough money to pay for 100 of these bags, with each bags costing £5 to make up as our gift to new parents. We were super chuffed to reach this target by Christmas Eve and with additional help from the Gro Company who donated 100 BooBears and extra lip balms and cereal bars, are busy getting ready to distribute all these new bags. In them will be the fruits of our other project which leads us to...
…the Little Book of SNUG
We are delighted to have finally gone to print with our Little Book of SNUG: A Parent Guide to NICU which will be available with all the comfort bags for brand new parents in the RD&E Neonatal Unit and we looking to expand to others as well to spread the word of SNUG! Since we last told you about this project, we expanded the book to include a full set of stickers designed by us to celebrate all those tiny milestones in the NNU, from coming off oxygen to the first bath. As well as being a memento for memory boxes, we hope these stickers will appeal to new parents and siblings alike to feel involved. We would like to give a huge thank you to PCL Digital who have printed the books and also to Heavitree Brewery Charitable Trust who gave SNUG a grant of £420 to print the books and sticker sets.
We are always incredibly touched by the efforts of those who fundraise for us as it these efforts are so vital in being able to continue our work. Jill Dixon and her sisters Sue, Alison and Angie have long been supporting local causes and this year are featuring SNUG and are aiming to raise £500.
Jill and her sisters held a coffee morning at Lympstone in December and raised £220, which we (and they!) were delighted with. As well as coffee and cake on the morning, there was also homemade fudge and shortbread to take away and a "Guess the Weight of the Christmas Cake" competition; they are hoping to hold another this Spring and all we can say is with those treats on offer, it sounds unmissable!
If you are free from coughs and colds, then we would absolutely LOVE to catch up with you and your little snug bugs on Thursday 3rd March at Munchkins Day Nursery in Exeter at our community meet. We have coffee, tea, cake and toys for the little ones to play with whilst the mummies get an opportunity to chat about anything and everything and make new friends who understand what it is like to have had a baby in neonatal care. Keep checking our Facebook page for any news or contact us to keep up to date with forthcoming goings on! Our community meets are free to attend; all we ask is that if you have a sniffle to stay away as many of our babies are extra vulnerable.
Back around World Prematurity Day, we shared some details of an exciting new project we were working on in partnership with the RD&E Neonatal Unit and a focus group of parents. As Exeter is a 'parent friendly unit' we were looking to design a communication tag for incubators and cots to help aid communication between parents and staff so that wishes are clearly handed over with no room for confusion. These can be rewritten on a daily basis as we know that parent priorities may change throughout their stay in neonatal. Just before the New Year the tags were printed and the pilot is about to launch to test how effective they are. We are so excited about these and can't wait to hear feedback once they are in use!
That's all for now folks! We'll keep you updated on our social media pages and would love to hear about any fundraising attempts you have planned or simply any news of your snug bugs growing up! Lastly if you have had a baby who has been in special care in Devon, or you know somebody who has who would like some support, please do get in touch and we can tell you more about what we offer.