Congratulations go our to St George’s in house neonatal charity, First touch NNU, for winning a community award at the BATCA (Balham and Tooting Community Association, for their peer supporter scheme for mums and dads on our neonatal ward.

The aim of the BATCA Community Awards is to recognise the volunteers who do amazing work to serve our local Tooting and Balham community and its people. The evening was hosted by Mr. Arshad Daud, BATCA’s chair person, and was attended by Dr Rosena-Khan, MP, and the Mayor of Wandsworth, Mr Jeremy Ambache. The evening was generously sponsored by local charities, such as Islamic Relief, The Royal Mahal, and A Plan.

The peer supporter scheme at St George’s Hospital is generously funded by First Touch, the neonatal unit charity, and was set up by Dr Laura de Rooy from St George’s Hospital and Dr Amy Douthwaite, now at Croydon Hospital Neonatal Unit. The team are hoping to expand the project across to the Croydon site later this year, following the success of having a successful peer support network scheme that supports sick babies and their families at St George’s.

 Dr Laura de Rooy said: “We were so proud of our wonderful peer supporters volunteer group from St George’s Neonatal Unit, who were honoured with an outstanding achievement award on the night.

“These fantastic individuals have all had the experience of being a mum or dad with a baby on the neonatal unit, and selflessly give up their time to help other families going through the stress and worry of having a very sick baby. They know what it’s like to experience both anguish and joy and are there to lend a helping hand or listening ear to our current families.

“The project could not have been the success it currently is without the inspirational support and leadership of Janine Hewitt, out parent volunteer coordinator, who was there on the night to receive the award together, along with First Touch Charity representatives Louise Williams and Sarah Collins.”

First Touch funds state of the art equipment and specialist training for our neonatal staff and provides tailored support for families that stay with us on the neonatal unit. You can find out more about the work that First Touch do here.