A year-long fundraising campaign by employees at North East mining, property and renewable energy firm The Banks Group has brought in a five figure sum for a regional charity which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families.
At the start of 2016, employees at the Durham-headquartered firm chose The Tiny Lives Trust as their charity of the year after it was nominated by their colleague Nicky Marshall, who works at Banks’ Shotton surface mine near Cramlington, due to the care it provided when his daughter Lola-Rose was born prematurely.
Since then, a wide variety of fundraising activities and events have been organised by members of the Banks team across all its offices and operational sites.
These have ranged from raffles, cake bakes, tuck shops and coffee morning through to a comedy hypnosis night, a Euro 2016 goal predictor competition and a 14-strong Banks team taking on the Tough Mudder Yorkshire event at Broughton Hall in Skipton, which involved tackling more than 20 obstacles along a 12 mile course made up of challenging hills, dark woodlands, deep bogs and thick mud.
And now, after totting up all the money raised through the year, a cheque for £12,000 has been handed over to Tiny Lives, which will support its work in helping to care for premature and sick newborn babies, their mothers and families in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) of the Newcastle Neonatal Service, which is based in Ward 35 of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
The SCBU looks after over 700 babies and their families from across the North East and Cumbria every year, with babies often being transferred to the RVI from other hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Network, which stretches from the borders of Cumbria and Northumberland down into North Yorkshire.
The Tiny Lives Trust aims to provide the highest quality of care on an ongoing basis and needs to raise at least £250,000 every year to support a range of facilities, staff, and equipment.
These range from developmental care aids, research grants and a family room and accommodation to enable families to stay close to their baby through to a neonatal physiotherapist and a dedicated social worker who provides social, emotional, and practical support for parents.
Sara Ellis, who is a member of the Banks Group’s charity fundraising committee, says: “The practical and emotional support provided by the Tiny Lives Trust to families in extremely challenging circumstances is absolutely invaluable, and our team has taken to fundraising for this great regional cause with real gusto.
“We’re all really proud to have brought in so much money for the Trust through what was a very busy year, and we hope it helps them do even more for people from right across the year during 2017.”
Carol Meredith at The Tiny Lives Trust, adds: “Families experience a very emotional journey when their child is born too soon and very sick, and this fundraising means Tiny Lives is always there to provide emotional, practical and financial support.
“Our thanks go to everyone at The Banks Group for all their fundraising for Tiny Lives, which will help us bring new support for families across the North East and Cumbria.”
For more information on The Tiny Lives Trust, please visit www.tinylives.org.uk or follow @TinyLivesTrust on Twitter.
The Banks Group’s staff charity of the year for 2017 will be announced in the near future.