TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has made a significant donation to the charity The Tiny Lives Trust, which operates out of Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

The Tyne Tunnels Community Fund, which was established in 2011 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the opening of the second road tunnel, has given the charity £1000 towards the purchase of developmental care aids.

TT2 made the decision to donate the money, as one of its employees, Mattie Imrie, used the charity’s services with both his son Owen, nine, and his daughter Orla-Mae seven. Owen was born at 27 weeks and weighed 2.13 1/2 lbs, and Orla -Mae was born at 29 weeks and weighed 2.15lbs.

The Tiny Lives Trust is an independent charity that supports the neonatal unit at the RVI, providing training for staff, providing a social worker to talk to parents, and supporting those with children staying in the unit with travel and accommodation. The Trust also pays for a specialist physiotherapist who helps staff and parents carry out exercises with babies where required. Although it is a small charity, it supports families from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire.

TT2 Limited aims to be a good neighbour to all of its customers, whether in the Tyneside area or further afield. The Tyne Tunnels Community Fund is an essential part of this pledge, as it allows the firm to support community-based schemes, educational programmes and charitable organisations within the region.

Shaun Simmons, Business Support Officer at TT2 Limited, said: “When Mattie approached us to suggest that we make a donation to The Tiny Lives Trust, we thought it was a great idea. We all know Mattie and his fiancé Laura, and we know how much support the charity gave to them when their children were born. It does fantastic work, and we’re happy to support them.”

Mattie Imrie, Tunnels Officer at TT2 Limited, said: “When you have a child, or two children, who need to stay for a while in the hospital, it’s incredibly difficult. The Tiny Lives Trust offered Laura and I so much support at a very stressful time, so when we were asked for suggestions for the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund, I thought it was a great opportunity to give something back.”

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser at The Tiny Lives Trust, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund for the generous donation of £1000. As an independent charity, we rely on donations in order to keep working with the families of premature babies, and older babies who are experiencing difficulties.

“We will be using the money to buy mini boos for the unit. These are comfort blankets come in two parts, one half for the parents and one half for baby. They each keep them so their scent is transferred on to the blanket, and then they swap, so that they can bond even when the baby needs to spend the majority of time in an incubator. This can also help the parents when they are not able to hold their baby, but can still feel close to them.”

Find out more about The Tiny Lives Trust by visiting http://www.tinylives.org.uk