Borough support group spreads Christmas cheer for sick babies and families

PARENTS spending Christmas day on Russells Hall Hospital's neonatal unit with their newborns will have a bag full of presents thanks to members of Dudley Bliss Family Group.

The group, which supports borough families whose baby has stayed on the unit as they were premature or poorly, has been busy collecting donations from individuals and organisations to make up gift bags.

Group organisers Joanne Weston and Stacey Tyler-Crisp organised the gift appeal as they were determined to spread some festive cheer and make families feel part of Christmas celebrations.

Joanne said: "It is an isolating and frightening experience having a baby in neonatal and at Christmas time, families with sick babies on the unit can be almost unaware of the festivities taking place around them. Receiving gifts on the unit can bring a little cheer to the day."

Joanne and Stacey will deliver the 22 gift bags, one for each of the incubators and cots on the unit, on Thursday.

Gifts include toiletries for babies and parents, hand-knitted baby cardigans, hats and blankets, bibs, feeding bowls, hand-made Christmas tree decorations, cuddly toys and comforters.

Families will also receive a Christmas card each, made by the babies and children of Dudley Bliss, who used to be patients of neonatal themselves.

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