Group helps ease dif­fi­cult hos­pi­tal time

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News -

This year like magic we had ex­actly the right num­ber. -Am­ber Bates

Ba­bies born pre­ma­ture or with ill­nesses keep­ing them in War­ren Health Ser­vice hos­pi­tal over their first Christ­mas re­ceived hand­made blan­kets and care pack­ages col­lected since Au­gust by Tiny Sparks in the hope of mak­ing the hol­i­day sea­son a lit­tle eas­ier for the in­fants and their fam­i­lies.

A not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion aim­ing to im­prove the well­be­ing of WA fam­i­lies en­dur­ing high-risk preg­nancy and in­fants re­quir­ing neona­tal unit care, Tiny Sparks pro­vides sup­port to metropoli­tan and re­gional fam­i­lies across the State.

As part of its vol­un­teer ef­forts, the or­gan­i­sa­tion each year reaches out to com­mu­ni­ties for its Christ­mas Quilt Drive, in the hope of col­lect­ing more than 250 blan­kets for in­fants around WA.

Co-founder and chair­woman Am­ber Bates said the drive be­gan in Au­gust, with word spread­ing quickly through quilt­ing and sewing com­mu­ni­ties.

“Gen­er­ally, the first week of No­vem­ber we have a lit­tle panic, won­der­ing if we will hit our tar­get for the year,” she said.

“We never know ex­actly how many quilts we will be dis­tribut­ing un­til we do our sort­ing for the re­gional mail out.

“This year like magic we had ex­actly the right num­ber.”

The or­gan­i­sa­tion mailed 48 Christ­mas quilts and “Baby’s 1st Christ­mas 2018” or­na­ments to 12 re­gional hos­pi­tals on De­cem­ber 14 for ba­bies spend­ing the day in “spe­cial care beds” due to pre­ma­tu­rity or sick­ness at birth.

“Our re­gional fam­i­lies are a very im­por­tant part of our com­mu­nity,” Ms Bates said.

“They are of­ten not only ge­o­graph­i­cally iso­lated but lack­ing friends and fam­ily who have been through a sim­i­lar jour­ney.”

Re­ceiv­ing the care packs aimed to of­fer re­gional fam­i­lies a sense of sup­port and a re­minder there was a place to reach out for sup­port.

Along­side the re­gional de­liv­ery, about 207 quilts will be de­liv­ered across Perth with the bulk go­ing to King Ed­ward Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, where about 95 ba­bies are ex­pected to spend their first Christ­mas.

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