Sponsorship opportunity for parent accommodation at hospital

A business sponsor is being invited to help support the provision of accommodation for parents of sick and premature babies who need to stay in hospital.

Taking a new baby home from hospital for the first time can be a very exciting time for parents.

But for parents of premature or unwell babies, it can be a hugely stressful time, particularly when their baby needs to receive specialist, life-saving care at a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) provides rooms close to its NICU unit where parents can stay while their baby is being treated.

It also has a five-bedroom property just a two-minute walk from NNUH which offers double en suite bedrooms, a shared kitchen, lounge and dining area.

Parents are charged a nominal fee to stay in a room at McKee House but NNUH Fundraising Manager Louise Cook hopes that the facility could be provided free of charge if a sponsor comes forward.

She said: “There can be huge costs involved in a hospital stay – travel expenses, food, childcare, not to mention lost wages, and by doing this, we hope we can minimise the further stress of finding a place to stay.

“Some of our babies can be in hospital for weeks or even months at a time. Many of our families are from all over Norfolk and as far away as Essex.

“This distance places enormous stress on parents who are juggling the care of other children, as well as the financial pressures of taking time off work. Parents spend much of their time by their baby’s bedside. The house provides not only a room to stay but a much-needed opportunity for them to rest and relax away from the pressures of the unit.

“At the moment, parents are charged £20 per stay, whether that be for a day or a week, but we would like to remove this fee.

“Many of the fixtures and fittings have been provided by charitable donations, but we think this is a great opportunity for a business or organisation to help us support this fantastic facility and enable us to cover the costs of providing the accommodation.

“We are looking at sponsorship of £15,000 a year, including the possibility of a couple of companies getting on board, and we are sure it would be a great boost for any organisation to be associated with such a worthwhile cause.”

Lead Paediatric Nurse Lucy Weavers said: “When babies are born prematurely, they can face huge challenges in terms of their healthy development and it is obviously a very difficult time for the family.

“We know how important it is for parents to be able to stay close to their baby and we work hard to do everything we can to make this as easy as possible.”
If you would like to discuss the project, please contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or email louise.cook@nnuh.nhs.uk
Baby James’ nine-week stay on NICU 

Clare and Paul Doe, from Ipswich, know just what it’s like to face such a difficult situation following the birth of their baby son James.

James was born with cystic fibrosis and remained on the NICU unit at NNUH for nine weeks.
Clare said: “We were lucky enough to be offered accommodation at McKee House whilst our baby was in NICU and, my goodness, were we grateful.

“As for all parents, this is a very traumatic time and we had the added worry about accommodation as we were so far from home.

“The beauty of the apartment is the convenient location knowing our baby was a few minutes’ walk away and we could contact the nurses throughout the night via the internal phone system.

“We ended up staying for nine weeks and the flat felt like a home from home with the comfy bed and furniture, en suite facilities, fridge for breastmilk and communal kitchen and lounge.

“Looking back, we think about our time at the NICU and the flat and wonder what we would have done without it.

“It would have been a logistical nightmare and very expensive so we are so very pleased that this was available to us.”

Monday 18th of December 2017 09:47:10 AM