An amazing action packed 2018 for Spoons.

As 2018 draws to a close and the New Tear comes in we would like to take a moment to say a massive thank you to all those who have supported Spoons this year:

  • Our Amazing volunteers who are the backbone of what we do. Spoons is a charity run solely by volunteers, by those who give up their time to support families in neonatal care.
  • Our trustees who guide us and enable us to meet our aims to support more families in neonatal care and in the community.
  • Last but definitely not least to all you guys who support us throughout the year. By raising funds for us. Knitting for us. Baking for us. We couldn’t function without you and we thank you for all your support.

Let us look at what we did in 2018 and how we and you supported families in neonatal care this year.

What did we do in 2018?

Fundraising – You raised a lot!

Between us all in 2018 we managed to raise a very impressive £51,029.32 – for a small charity that is some serious money. Every single penny of it has gone back into supporting families in neonatal care: providing Welcome Packs or Sibling Packs; funding counselling for parents; assisting families with travel or accommodation.

These funds have made a huge difference to families in neonatal care and beyond, and we thank you guys for supporting us!!

Peer Support – It’s priceless

This year we started out with 3 peer support volunteers on the neonatal unit and we are ending the year with 9. That is a total of 9 people who give up at least two hours of their week to support parents on the neonatal unit and at our community groups. That is a minimum of 18 hours per week peer support across two neonatal units. Between them all they have supported 1590 parents on the neonatal unit – wow!

Our peer support volunteers have all been parents on the unit and what they do to help and support other parents is amazing!

We have also held a total of 15 community support groups which have been attended by a total of 165 parents! That is amazing! Thank you volunteers!

We have also been working hard devising a specialist training package for our peer support volunteers, which puts us in a position to recruit, train and support more peer support volunteers in the future! We plan to end 2019 with even more peer support volunteers, meaning we can offer parents even more peer support. We have some big plans for offering more support to dads on the unit and siblings too.

Professional Support – Getting the experts on-board

As well as our wonderful peer support sessions we have also been lucky enough to have support from some wonderful professionals.

In 2018 we held 3 baby weaning sessions for families who have had a baby on the neonatal unit. We held our very first baby massage programme, which is exclusive to families who have experienced neonatal care. We held two paediatric first aid courses for parents. We started working with a trauma therapist and have been able to offer professional counselling and mental health support for parents.

We are planning to expand on all of those services and ensure families are supported throughout their neonatal journey and beyond into the community.

The Spoons Website – An exciting project

One of our most challenging projects of 2018 was our website.

None of us had any previous experience of writing web content and it was hard work. The site was written by parents for parents, with input from healthcare professionals. The aim of the website was to provide support for parents who are experiencing the loneliness and trauma of neonatal care, regardless of where they are in the world; to share inspirational stories and neonatal journeys of other families; and to act as an information resource for anybody experiencing neonatal care. The website has been a fantastic project for us and we have only had positive feedback. It is very much a work in progress and we have some exciting plans for the website in the future.

Happy New Year!

All in all 2018 has been a successful and exciting year for Team Spoons. We have built some great partnerships with other organisations and are excited to see where this goes in 2019.

Our aim remains the same – to support families on the neonatal unit and beyond, but our goals are set higher. We want to offer more services and support, and we are super excited to see where this takes us.

So that’s us signing off for 2018, wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.

Thank you for being with us this year.

Team Spoons x