Sherwood Forest Hospitals thanks charity for raising £100,000 for families on Neonatal Unit

Emily Harris Foundation Abbie OverAugust 22, 2017

A couple who founded a charity to support families with babies on the Neonatal Unit at King’s Mill Hospital are being thanked for raising more than £100,000.

Clare and Neil Harris, from Clipstone, started the Emily Harris Foundation in September 2008 in memory of their first baby, Emily Harris, who sadly passed away from a serious heart condition at just five months old. She spent the majority of her short life on King’s Mill Hospitals’ Neonatal Unit.

Next month marks nine years since the charity was founded and in that time it has raised £100,000, which has gone towards improving the experience for families who have found themselves having to stay on the unit with their babies and to fund further staff training.

Clare and Neil were thanked by Sherwood Forest Hospitals at a special event, where the Trust’s Chairman, John MacDonald, presented them with a cake and a certificate.

Clare said: “Over the past nine years the Emily Harris Foundation has grown rapidly, with many different people doing things to fundraise for the charity. We are so pleased that we have been able to raise such a substantial amount of money, which is making such a huge difference to families.

“We received wonderful care from the staff on the Neonatal Unit at King’s Mill Hospital and we knew we had the opportunity to give something back. When Emily passed away we had a collection at her funeral and we donated the funds to the unit. We saw the difference that the funds could make to families who found themselves in a similar situation to us and this really triggered us to do more, which is when we set-up the Emily Harris Foundation.”

One of the first things that the charity did to support families on the Neonatal Unit was to provide bags filled with useful goodies for new babies and these are still provided to new parents today. Funds have also been used to purchase chairs for the unit specifically designed to help new mothers breastfeed. The charity also supplies bus tokens so that new parents can easily get to hospital to spend time with their baby, a voucher for parents to enjoy a meal together at a local restaurant and to fund further training for staff on the unit that isn’t provided by the NHS.

Head of Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary, Shirley Higginbotham, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the support that we receive from the Emily Harris Foundation and we know that the improvements that have been made to our services are very much appreciated by families who use the unit and by our staff. We would like to thank the community for their generous donations to the foundation and congratulations to Clare and Neil on achieving this fantastic milestone.”

For more information about the Emily Harris Foundation, visit www.emilyharrisfoundation.org.