CRAIGAVON Mayor Carla Lockhart has announced that her main charity of the year will be TinyLife, which is dedicated to the needs of premature babies and their families.
Ms Lockhart has chosen the charity for deep personal reasons - her little nephew Issac Henry Cinnamon was born nine weeks premature in June last year, and the family deeply appreciates the expertise and care he received in the neo-natal baby unit in Craigavon Area Hospital and the support of TinyLife.
Said the Mayor: “TinyLife, the premature baby charity for Northern Ireland, is committed to providing practical and emotional support to the parents of premature and sick babies through a raft of family support services. It is also committed to funding medical research into the causes of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage.
“After my little nephew was born, the family experienced TinyLife expertise and professionalism. Over a year later, he’s really thriving, and that’s the reason why I’ve chosen it as my main charity for the year. They do tremendous work in supporting and helping families at a very stressful time. In Northern Ireland alone, over 1,800 babies are born too soon.
“Isaac Henry was just 3.7 pounds when he was born, and there was such joy when he came through and was able to go home. I’m looking forward to working with TinyLife and raising money for their latest project, their sensory room at their headquarters in Carryduff, which is available to families throughout Northern Ireland.”
Valerie Cromie, TinyLife regional fundraising manager said: “TinyLife is delighted to have been chosen by Councillor Lockhart. Every day in Northern Ireland, seven babies are born too soon. Some arrive as early as 24 weeks and weigh as little as one pound, and many will have to stay in neo-natal intensive care for 12-16 weeks. TinyLife has a strong presence in the Craigavon area, where our family support team works closely with the neo-natal nurses in Craigavon Area Hospital to ensure the parents of premature and sick babies receive the support they so desperately need at this critical time.”
The Mayor’s installation dinner at the Civic Centre on September 21 is the first big event from which all the proceeds go to the charity. There will be other events throughout the year following discussions between the Mayor and the charity.