Norfolk SANDS and Savills make Special Christmas Delivery to Maternity Ward
Caption: From the left, back row: Sharon Stone, Midwifery Team; Eleanor Langan, Chaplain; Ann Walker, Matron for Delivery Suite; Jo Keable Midwifery Team; Babs Colbourne from SANDS, Ciara Arundel, Director at Savills Norwich office. Front row: Catherine Lock, Midwifery Team; Miranda Rowlands, Chair of Norfolk Sands; Mum and Savills’ employee Bryony Seabrook who inspired the fundraising; and Stuart Colbourne from SANDS.
A gift has been made this Christmas to the maternity ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which could help save babies’ lives. A wireless fetal heart monitor was presented on Monday 21 December at 11am at the hospital chapel, by local charity Norfolk Sands and the Norwich office of Savills.
The monitor was officially presented by Miranda Rowlands, Chair of Norfolk Sands, together with Ciara Arundel and Bryony Seabrook of Savills Norwich, who have raised over £7,000 for Norfolk Sands through various fundraising events over the past two years.
Used to monitor a baby’s heartbeat, the wireless fetal heart monitor allows the mother freedom to move around during labour, helping relieve discomfort and reducing the likelihood of needing intervention to assist the birth. In ‘high risk’ pregnancies, fetal heart monitoring can give an early warning of any complications, which could save babies’ lives. It can also be a great reassurance to parents who have previously experienced loss through stillbirth.
Ann Walker, Clinical Midwifery Manager and Matron for the Delivery Suite at NNUH, said: “Wireless telemetry is fantastic new technology that allows higher risk women the ability to keep upright and mobile during labour whilst allowing continuous monitoring of the fetal heart. To be in a position to be able to encourage upright labour and birth, whilst having the reassurance that we can monitor the fetal heart will hopefully lead to an improvement in birth outcomes.”
Norfolk Sands is a local branch of UK Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, a charity which supports anyone affected by the death of a baby before or shortly after birth. Thanks to the donation from Savills, Norfolk Sands has been able to pay for the wireless heart monitor and still have money left to help fund the supply of memory boxes for bereaved parents at the hospital. Norfolk Sands also organises annual baby-loss memorial services and provides training for midwives to help improve standards of bereavement care.
Staff at Savills were inspired to raise funds for Norfolk Sands by their colleague Bryony and her husband Ben, whose baby boy Dylan was sadly stillborn on 10 May 2012. The couple then suffered a second loss with a miscarriage over Christmas that same year. At Bryony’s suggestion, staff at the Norwich Savills office chose to adopt Norfolk Sands as their office charity for a period of two years. As a result of their dedication, Savills’ fundraising has been a phenomenal success.
Ciara Arundel, a director at Savills Norwich office, said: “This was our way of thanking an organisation that provided such incredibly important support to a colleague and friend at a desperately sad time.
The money has come in through a variety of means from our Savills golf day to cake making in the office, but chiefly through the generosity of clients and fellow Norwich professionals who attend our annual Christmas carol services.”
Chair of Norfolk Sands, Miranda Rowlands, said: “It’s an honour to be able to present this gift to the hospital today, especially being able to share the occasion with the team at Savills Norwich whose tremendous fundraising efforts have made this possible. I’m really moved and inspired by their kindness and great enthusiasm.”
It’s a story with a double happy ending. Bryony and Ben’s baby boy, Jenson, was safely delivered on 22 October this year.
Bryony said, “I am so grateful to Savills for making Norfolk Sands our supported office charity over the last two years. Everybody has been so unbelievably supportive, showing such kindness. It has been an extremely hard and heart-breaking journey to get to where we are today. I love that Dylan has had such a positive effect on us and the outcome can help other families.”