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Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

HAM­MOND Park Pri­mary School Year 4 stu­dents were hard at work last year mak­ing origami swans to give to fam­i­lies at King Ed­ward Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal's neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit (NICU).

Help­ing Lit­tle Hands co-founder Kate Crass­weller said swans were a sym­bol of hope and heal­ing and both were needed to sur­vive in the NICU.

“Amy James, the teacher or­gan­is­ing the swans, spent a long time in the NICU at King Ed­die's with her son Damien,” Ms Crass­weller said.

“She wanted the kids she teaches to become in­volved in a char­ity to show gen­eros­ity and em­pa­thy.”

Ms Crass­weller said the NICU could be an iso­lat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for fam­i­lies and even more so over the hol­i­day pe­riod when they spend time in in­ten­sive care, away from tra­di­tional gath­er­ings.

“We hope the dec­o­ra­tions from the kids at Ham­mond Park will show par­ents that some­one else cares, some­one else sees, and some­one else un­der­stands,” she said.

“Once the NICU jour­ney is over, this dec­o­ra­tion will be a re­minder of just how far they’ve come.”

The Help­ing Lit­tle Hands team started the char­ity be­cause while the care of ba­bies was first class, they knew par­ents needed more prac­ti­cal sup­port.

Ms Crass­weller said for some par­ents, the only meal they ate was the food de­liv­ered by the char­ity.

“All of this prac­ti­cal sup­port means more time for par­ents to spend with their ba­bies; that’s the end goal, be­cause re­search shows the more cud­dles pre­ma­ture ba­bies get, the bet­ter their med­i­cal out­comes and the quicker they get home,” she said.

Peo­ple can sup­port Help­ing Lit­tle Hands by donat­ing food items, baby clothes, su­per­mar­ket vouch­ers, or vol­un­teer­ing time for emer­gency home care. Visit­inglit­tle­

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d477627

Ham­mond Park Pri­mary School stu­dents Naomi Lee, Kr­ishna Calin­gasan and Jonathan Sa­rader with the origami swans.

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