Charity celebrates first birthday by giving back to parents

24th October 2019

THIS SEPTEMBER, a very special and heart-warming initiative
is coming to the North East region.

Leo’s and vCreate have teamed up to provide secure video
diaries to parents of premature and sick babies for free.

The vCreate App will let nursing staff in neonatal units
record video updates of baby for mum and dad to access from their phones at
times when they aren’t able to be in the unit.

When the baby is discharged from the neonatal unit, parents
can download all video clips of their baby and keep them forever.

Lottie King, Founder of Leo’s, a charity that supports
parents throughout their neonatal journey and post-discharge, explains why the
service is being made available.

“Parents whose baby needs to spend time in a neonatal unit
experience a rollercoaster of emotions and unfortunately anxiety and PTSD are
frequent. By making this new service available, we will be reaching parents at
a critical time, they may be at their lowest point, but receiving video updates
from the unit, will be like providing a virtual hug to help them carry on.”

Leo’s is now
working with Thomas Robinson, Director of Infinity Digital, and a neonatal
parent to help fund this crucial service across the North East on the neonatal
units at The James Cook University Hospital, North Durham Hospital, Darlington
Memorial Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Thomas, who has been affected by premature birth, following
the admission of his daughter, Penelope, to the Neonatal Unit at The James Cook
University Hospital, wanted to give back to the charity which helped his family
during their neonatal stay, and continues to support them in the community.

Thomas said: “Once we heard about Leo’s plans to
introduce the vCreate system, we knew we had to be involved!”

“I know first-hand how hard it is to go home at night and
leave your child. I spent many sleepless nights worrying about how she was, if
she was feeding well, if there were any concerns, I wasn’t aware of… Most of
all I just missed her beautiful face! If there was something like vCreate in
place, I know it would have made what was without doubt the toughest time of
our lives, a lot more bearable!”

Ben Moore, Founder of vCreate, says, “We worked with Leo’s to
support families during Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week, and realised
that we both have a shared passion for supporting families going through the
trauma of having a child who is born too soon or too sick.

“The cost this has on parents’ mental health is huge. By
reaching parents early in their neonatal journey and sending them cute videos
that help ease the pain, we are getting one step closer to ensuring fewer
parents get diagnosed with anxiety and debilitating PTSD.”

The service will be available for free to units and free for
parents, who will be able to sign up for the vCreate App as soon as they arrive
in the neonatal unit or, whenever possible.

The official launch of vCreate in The James Cook University
Hospital neonatal unit will take place on 19th September as part of Leo’s first
birthday celebrations, the service will be rolled out across the other three
neonatal units over the coming months.

Leo’s will now be working with the team at Infinity Digital
to raise £15,000 to fund this service which will help more than 1,300 families
across the North East per year.


Leo's Neonatal

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