Hundreds of parents across Greater Manchester will spend the festive season running back and forth to the neonatal ward. Jeannette, who has shared her story to support our campaign, understands the difficulties only too well.

This time of year is when families like Jeanette’s need our help the most. And we’re launching #SpoonsWinterWishes to show them our support.

Last year we gave out over 1,000 Welcome packs to local families whose baby was in neonatal care. These packs contain helpful information and keepsakes, like milestones cards and inkless footprint kits.

The Spoons Welcome PackEach pack costs £10 to produce and distribute on neonatal wards across Greater Manchester. We receive no funding for these packs and rely on donations to produce them.

Please help us to make sure families like Jeanette’s feel welcomed to the Spoons Family. You can also leave a message of support to help them through the festive period. #SpoonsWinterWishes

Thank you, Team Spoons.

Jeanette’s story

Graham with Santa and Graham in the incubator

Graham weighed just 600 grams the day he was born.

He spent his first Christmas in Room 1, Cot 6 on the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Oldham Hospital. By Christmas Graham had been in NICU for 11 weeks. His original birth date was the end of January.

“It was a very strange time, like Christmas was all happening around us but we weren’t part of it. My family was determined to mark it and my sister bought him an elf outfit. It was new-born size but it was huge on him. We had to fold the legs over at the bottom. I buy him the same costume now every year.”

Instead of taking Graham home for his first Christmas the family spent the day in NICU.

“I already knew Spoons through their Welcome Pack and I’d met a lovely Peer Supporter who I’d been talking to. On Christmas Day they’d left a pile of presents next to his incubator. My favourite was a light up Teletubbie that he still has to this day. Spoons even arranged for our little boy to have his first Santa visit, it meant we could have our first family picture taken with Santa. I’d been dreading Christmas Day so much, but their thoughtfulness helped to make it special in the end.”

Graham spent the first 4 months of his life in neonatal care. He came home with an oxygen tank that he had to use for 6 months.

“Thankfully, Spoons were there for me again. I didn’t want to go to any of the local baby groups other mums went to but Spoons told me about their local play sessions. I loved going there, Graham could play with the toys without me worrying how clean they were. And the other mums didn’t stare, they understood why he was on oxygen and to be careful around him.”

Graham is now three years old and is doing amazingly. He’s full of energy and loves Batman and dinosaurs.

Graham with Batman and Graham as a toddler
There are hundreds of other families like Jeanette’s all over Greater Manchester, experiencing baby’s first Christmas in neonatal care. We’re asking you to remind them that they’re not alone this Christmas.


 Text SPOONS to 70450 to donate £10