Here at Pennies, we love numbers: how many donations, how much money raised, how many charities we support. Behind the numbers however are thousands of incredible stories thatremind us why Pennies is so important and push us to keep those donations coming in.
When Wallace &Gromit’s Grand Appeal, an organisation that shares the donations from The Entertainer and raises funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Michael’s Special Care Baby Unit, told us the story of Evie and her parents it reminded us of how vital the services are that your pennies help to keep going.
For the first five months of her life, baby Evie’s home was in the neonatal intensive care unit at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol.
Born more than three months early, Evie certainly was little (she weighed 1lb 9oz) and the consultant explained to the family that the chances of her survival were about 50/50.
The next months were full of dramatic events, including Evie suffering a brain haemorrhage, but thanks to the medical team and the specialist equipment available at the unit, Evie and her parents Sarah and Matt are now home having cuddles on the privacy of their sofa for the first time.
“The other day as I was holding her I felt tears come down my face because I was so happy,” Sarah said.
“The day after we came home I thought ‘I just want to stay at home’, which we had not been able to do for five months.”
As one of four hospitals to benefit from money raised by customers at The Entertainer, £20,000 of the total £100,000 raised has gone towards helping families like the Harris’ through the Cots for Tots Appeal.
Part of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Cots for Tots Appeal recently reached its target of £1million and a new suite of four life saving intensive care cots is now open which will allow up to a further 150 more babies to be treated on the Unit. A new 12 bedded family accommodation facility is soon to be open after Easter. This will allow parents of the babies being treated on the Unit to be able to stay free of charge close by in a home from home environment.
Well done to everyone who fundraised for the Cots for Tots Appeal, including all those customers who chose to round up their purchases at The Entertainer – you have helped to improve these vital neonatal services that save the lives of little babies like Evie.
Here Sarah talks about their experiences at St Michael’s and watching her daughter pull through.
The next phase of the Cots for Tots Appeal will be to fundraise £200,000 a year to support the ongoing costs of the Family Accommodation Unit to ensure that South West families will have access to free home-from-home accommodation; and also to support the continued developments on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital.
To find out more about the Cots for Tots Appeal visit their website at www.cotsfortots.org.uk