Our Support continues, even after you leave the Unit
We’re proud to announce that as of Summer 2020, we have increased our funding for mental health support on the Ward 35, meaning that parents on the Unit, and those who have returned home from the Unit, can benefit from the expertise of our Clinical Pyschologist and her team. Sadly, parents may not identify that they have mental health concerns until after leaving the Unit, and may experience anxiety, depression or even PTSD. With this increased provision, we want to be there for as many parents as possible. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can help you with this, or call 0191 282 4081 to be put in touch with the Clinical Psychology team directly.
Pilot Project – Self-Referral Counselling: We are delighted to offer a new self-referral counselling service to discharged Ward 35 parents, to help them process their emotions following their experience with neonatal care. You can take part in 6 free sessions of individual or couples counselling, offered in partnership with the North East Counselling Service. This trial service is self-referred, meaning that you do not need a medical referral to benefit from this additional support. Find out more.
In 2021 we funded vCreate Neuro, an addition to the existing vCreate system, which connects babies to their parents via shared videos even when they can’t be together. vCreate Neuro enables parents to send in videos from home, post-discharge, to Ward 35 Consultants and Neonatal Therapists for early Neurodevelopmental follow up and screening. This technology makes this process more efficient, reduces the need for face-to-face clinics and increases ease of access. This technology will help many parents and babies access expert developmental follow-up monitoring, without the need to venture to the hospital.
We are working with the team on the Neonatal Unit to develop and print a discharge checklist for each family, helping them to better understand the process of leaving the Unit, and helping to calm anxieties around this milestone. Please check back soon for more information on this exciting new project!
Meeting other Neonatal parents can offer vital support. Our Meet, Chat, Learn Classes are open exclusively to families from Ward 35 and range from Boogie Bairns, to Paediatric First Aid and Baby Yoga. They are the perfect way meet Neonatal parents in a friendly, understanding environment. The classes are usually funded or part-funded by Tiny Lives, and always free-of-charge to Ward 35 parents.
As of January 2021, we’re proud to have funded a new Sling Library Pilot on the Neonatal Unit! By suppling slings and weighted dolls, parents can try out a sling and learn how best to wear it to support their baby – with the help of the Physio team – before trialling a sling on loan for up to 8 weeks. We hope to empower Ward 35 parents to use a sling with their baby, encouraging bonding between the two.
The Bubbles Group is a support and developmental group facilitated by the Newcastle Community Nursing Team and the Central Community Family Hub. They’re supported by Tiny Lives and host weekly face-to-face baby and parents sessions for Newcastle parents whose babies have been discharged from Ward 35 at the RVI. They also run regular online support sessions for parents outside of the Newcastle area (eg. North Tyneside or Gateshead), or those who are not comfortable attending face-to-face sessions yet.
We host Nearly New Sales several times a year, which are a great opportunity to pick up some baby bargains and support Tiny Lives at the same time! It’s a lovely way for parents to stay connected with the charity, as they can donate clothes and items that their little ones have grown out of and then buy some new bits for them – whilst raising funds. The Sales also encourage recycling and buying pre-loved, helping us (and parents!) to reduce their environmental impact. Due to the current circumstances, the 2020 Nearly New Sales are currently on hold. We will announce the next sale as soon as we are able.
Every year we host a big Christmas celebration for all of the families who have spent time on the Neonatal Unit. It’s hours of fun, with live entertainment, a sensory corner, soft play, bouncy castle, food, games and.. Santa! Many families meet up year-after-year at the event, and it is so amazing to see the children grow and thrive each year.
This list is constantly growing to meet the developing needs of the Neonatal Unit. If you have an idea for something that would have helped you or someone you know on the Unit, we’d love to hear it. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.