We support local Neonatal units and the community in the following ways:
Dinners On Us
Our fortnightly ''Dinners On Us'' program is another way we help families in a practical and supportive way. Taking dinner right into the heart of the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit's family room, we feed the families with babies in the unit free of charge. With dinner, dessert, drinks and cookies in hand, the parents can come and enjoy Dinner On Us while given a chance to chat to us past parents who have been where they are now.
Often looking after yourself and getting a good meal is furthest from your mind, so these dinners are always very well received by families.
Food Hampers & Country Mum Essentials Packs
Food Hamper Bags
For families that are far from home without ways to get to the shops, who are here in a foreign location far from the nearest supermarket; we are able to help out with a free Food Hamper Bag. Loaded with ready meals, soups, cearal, milk, biscuits, snacks and alike; these packs will get mum or mum and dad through for a few days while they settle into their new accommodation after hopsital discharge. This also allows them to focus more time and energy on their baby in the hospital while helping practically and financially too. These Food Hamper bags are also supplied to families in need who aren't necessary from the country. With some decent financial sponsorship for our charity in the past year or so, we have been able to put this additonal support service in action and provide these packs free of charge to families.
Country Mum Essentials Packs
These packs are supplied to the unit to hand out to any/all families arriving here from remote areas. Oftem mum arrives here with little or not items from home. Our Country Mum Essentials Packs are starter packs with pampering essential toiletries to help mum through her first few weeks.
Mother's Day Cupcake Morning Tea and Gift Bags
Our morning tea and gifts for Mother's Day is another way we support parents around a special but difficult time. We put on a special morning tea and supply each mum with a gift bag for her and baby to feel special and pampered.
Father's Day Iced Coffee and Cream Bun Morning Tea
Dads from our team visit the units with Iced Coffee, Chocolate milks and lovely slices and buns in hand
hosting a morning tea especially for the dads.
It's important to focus on the dads too as they experience having a baby in Neonatal care quite differently to mum.
Having past dads come in and supply treats and a chance to chat is always welcomed by families in the unit.
Christmas Pamper Packs and Morning Tea
Just prior to Christmas our little team of elves visit with morning tea and a gift bag for each family. These bags are jam packed full of items for mum, bubs and dad. Practical, pampering and essential items are included to help these families feel special and not forgotten at Christmas. (A few of our team know what it is like to be in the unit over Christmas).
Neonatal Parent Playgroups
Our support extends beyond the hospital doors. Our Neonatal Parent Playgroups run in the community to support parents once they are home with bub. This is a place where parents can come along with their baby and other children and enjoy chatting to other parents who have been through the Neonatal experience. It's a great support for parents and an environment of understanding. Run weekly all year round, we currently run playgroups in Happy Valley (see our Playgroup page for more details).
Family Fun Days
Our annual Family Fun Day in the form of an Easter Fair brings together and connects the Neonatal families in a unique way. Being the only, largest state based charity support to the SA Neonatal families community, this event sees 400-500 people attend.
Connecting with other parents who have gone through the NICU with their babies is a lifeline but not easy to come by. Having a prem and or sick baby in hospital for weeks, and in most cases, months, is a tough journey. Connecting with other parents who have walked that journey before is a lifeline so desperately needed and one that can provide such support to remind parents that you are not alone, that we ‘get it’ and we can offer that understanding that comes from once being there.
Our Family Fun Days see families connect, reconnet from their NICU journey and others find each other for the first time sharing a mutual experience of what they had been through and are going through now with their little ones. That community connection isn't easy to find - but we faciliate that.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes you have to create your own unique village and that is what we have done.
Our closed Facebook page is a very supportive community of Neonatal parents. They truly understand what it is/was like going through having a baby born early and/or sick. Some parents are in the thick of it now with babies in the unit, some have been home a little while and others have older Neonatal graduates. We all ''get it'''and this Facebook page is a wonderful source of support and connecting with other parents in this way can help you feel less alone in your journey.
With all we do we aim to just support parents and families (and staff) where we can with no agenda but just to let them know that we have been where they are now, we have walked a similar journey and do truly understand. With that and the compassion we have in our heart we hope to ease their load a bit, provide some practical help and offer an understanding ear giving hope and support.