North East Connected


A tiny onesie, hand and footprint ink and a photo frame, a journal, a lip balm and a letter.

Just five of the things contained within a very special box being handed out to parents whose tiny newborns are being cared for on Teesside’s vital neonatal units.

The reason? The ‘welcome boxes’, filled with all sorts of little helpful things, are there to support mums and dads and their poorly little ones as they battle through the first steps on their life’s journey.

And thanks to a £1,000 Golden Giveaway from Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, more parents will be able to open them up and realise they’re not alone at what can be an overwhelming time in their lives.

The charity behind the boxes is Leo’s, set up last year by mum Lottie King in memory of her son who died at just four hours old.

She realised there was a huge need for families to be supported and came up with the idea to help provide some vital essentials to do just that.

They cost £25 each to put together and when Leo’s applied to Teesside Philanthropic Foundation for help, the charity was delighted to be able to offer its support.

Baby Leo is survived by his twin Oska and older brother Dax.

Mum Lottie said: “For us, it’s all about two things – having Leo as present as he can be in his own way, and making sure as many families who walk this journey are supported in as many ways as they can be.

“This donation means the world to us. It means we can support the families we are so desperate to continue care for, and give them the gift of memory making and bonding.

“Many of those families are spread all across the Teesside region and it means Leo’s legacy can grow even stronger.”

The welcome boxes contain, amongst other things, an ‘I’m A Leo’s Cub’ onesie, a neonatal journal and pen, hand and footprint ink printing kit and photo frame, hand cream and lip balm as it gets so dry on the unit, a letter from a parent who has been through the same experience, a canteen voucher and tea bags ‘for those moments when you need to take a moment.’

Angela Woodward and Shirley Moss, representatives from Teesside-based Racz Group, which runs several Domino’s Pizza, Costa and Anytime Fitness gym franchises, went along to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough to see the boxes for themselves.

Headquartered at Wynyard Business Park, Racz are Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s newest patrons.

Shirley said: “We are thrilled to be the Philanthropic Foundation’s newest patrons – and looking forward to supporting worthy causes across Teesside.

“This one for Leo’s was a perfect start. Anything that provides a little bit of comfort in times of need is so very valuable to all concerned.”

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