A parents area in the newly expanded neonatal unit at Walsall Manor Hospital will definitely have a homely feel after a new fundraising partnership was born.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity Well Wishers has teamed up with Marks & Spencer in Wednesbury for a fundraising focus that will benefit parents whose babies are being cared for in the neonatal unit.
Staff at Marks & Spencer considered three potential fundraising appeals by different charities but Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Neonatal Unit secured the most votes. M&S will now support bag packs, cake sales and tombolas within its store and the hospital to boost funds over the next 12 months.
There will be an official launch at M&S on Monday 13 May.
Lisa Poston, Neonatal Unit Senior Nurse/Ward Manager, explained that work is currently underway to create a new obstetric theatre and expand the Neonatal Unit in a £5.6m project due for completion in autumn.
She said: “We were originally looking at a fairly basic update of the parents rooms as the project’s priority is understandably the creation of a purpose-built Intensive Therapy Unit and High Dependency Unit. We’re also increasing increase our provision to 20 cots – taking our HDU cots from two to four and our special care cots from 11 to 14.
“To hear that M&S has chosen to raise money to make the parents area as homely as possible is really lovely. For families who have the worry of their baby being cared for in neonatal to be able to stay on the unit and be close by at what can be a critical time is so important.”
Paul Barnes, M&S Commercial Operations Section Manager, said: “Our staff are delighted to be playing their part in such an important feature within the neonatal unit. We can only imagine the stress that parents are under and want to make sure the parents area is a relaxing home from home haven for them at such a challenging time in their lives.
“Thanks to the involvement of our Community Champion Carol Smith who set the ball rolling with Well Wishers’ Fundraising manager Georgie Westley we are really looking forward to working with the charity and to next week’s exciting launch.”