Archive: Mar 2017

Banks Group smash their target of £5k

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Thank you to all staff at Banks Group in Durham and Shotton Surface Mine, who have made the £12k donation possible to Tiny Lives after we were successful in becoming their charity of the year 2016.  Tiny Lives was kindly nominated by Nicky Marshall at Banks Mining as his daughter Lola-Rose was born prematurely 9 years ago.

Staff from both sites got together with various events in which one was an Hypnosis’s evening – which looked a lot of fun


Nicky Marshall, Banks Mining; his daughter Lola-Rose Marshall (who was born prematurely 9 years ago); and Louise Carroll, Tiny Lives

Nicky Marshall, Banks Mining; his daughter Lola-Rose Marshall (who was born prematurely 9 years ago); and Louise Carroll, Tiny Lives




Working Together


Brian Royce, president of the Whitley Bay Rotary Club was delighted to welcome back Louise Carroll from the Tiny Lives Trust who support the Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI, Newcastle. Louise, has been visiting the Rotary Club for a number of years now and was pleased to be able to tell the members and their guests, all the news and developments that Tiny Lives can continue to support the Special Care Baby Unit with, because of help from the Rotary Club.

In conclusion to her talk, Louise said:

“I would like to thank the members of Whitley Bay Rotary Club for organising and collecting from the people of Whitley Bay once again. This is the fifth year that the Rotary Club has supported us with their fundraising, and we cannot thank them enough for all their help, which they provided to so many local families facing difficult times’’.

President Brian added:

‘’That Rotary was delighted to be involved in helping so many children at the ‘Tiny Lives’ centre, where they provided the best possible care to over 700 premature babies and their families every year, and this Rotary club looks forward to supporting them in future years.’’

In conclusion, President Brian expressed his thanks to the management of the Park View Mall, who allowed the club access to collect and the shoppers who gave so generously to make it all possible.

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Golf Day in aid of Tiny Lives

Do you like a round of golf? if so and you would like to support Tiny Lives or if you are not that keen on the game but would still like to support the day, why not sponsor a hole for £30




We would like to thank Mike Cramman who is kindly organising the golf day for the 4th year running all in aid of Tiny Lives, to the sponsors below, to all teams who have entered so far and not forgetting everyone who has donated a prize to make it possible for a raffle to take place.

Northumberland Golf Club

Wears Inn

Millstone Pub, Gosforth



Pig n Mix Sweet Company



Tiny Lives helps towards unique Neonatal Biobank

The region’s neonatal experts and charity partners have come together to establish a unique collaboration facilitating ground breaking research to help babies born either prematurely or extremely unwell.

The partnership involves the Newcastle Hospitals, Newcastle University, and much loved North East charity Tiny Lives. This unique, collaborative approach has seen the development of the Great North Neonatal Biobank – the very first of its kind in the UK.

Funded through a generous donation of £14,580 from Tiny Lives, and based at the Newcastle University, the Biobank will create a world-leading resource for scientific research into problems associated with premature birth which affects one in nine babies born in England each year.

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Dr Janet Berrington, a Consultant specialising in Neonatal Medicine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University explains:

“Although premature babies’ survival rates have improved immeasurably in recent years, the babies whose lives we are saving experience a range of complex problems: greater risk of infections, complex nutritional needs, immune and metabolic difficulties, developmental and growth delays, and autistic spectrum disorders. 

“At the RVI we see around 150 very premature babies every year, who are born before 32 weeks, from all over the region.  Each baby we care for has a unique set of problems, some of which we don’t fully understand such as life threatening necrotising enterocolitis, also known as NEC. 

“We very much hope that building a bank of ’salvaged’ specimens including urine and stool samples as well as clinical ‘left over’ samples such as blood,  which would all normally be discarded, will help us facilitate research to teach us more about why they develop the problems they do.”

Studying complex problems in very small and sick babies is extremely difficult because specimens are difficult to take, and limited in size, so taking extra samples for research is very appropriately restricted.

Dr Berrington continues:  “This is where collecting and biobanking salvaged samples can play their part. With parents’ permission, by gathering a wealth of samples that would otherwise be discarded, alongside information about outcomes we can undertake scientific studies that would otherwise be impossible, and improve the health and outcomes for babies in their early weeks and months, as well as into the future”

The Tiny Lives Trust which supports the work of Newcastle’s Neonatal Service at the RVI said: “We are delighted to be helping generations of children from across the North East and Cumbria.  The RVI’s Neonatal Unit is a centre of clinical and academic excellence and our grant recognises this unique and vital development as part of our commitment to supporting families who face the trauma of a sick and premature baby.”

Newcastle’s neonatal experts have already built an abundance of knowledge about infections, bowel disease and other important aspects of baby health and growth.

Tiny Lives has helped support many of their studies, and helped establish Newcastle as a major centre for research of this nature. This work is part of the Newcastle Academic Health Partners, a collaboration involving the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University. This partnership harnesses world-class expertise to ensure patients benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies.

Newcastle’s neonatologists are now leading researchers and collaborators across the world, and their research programme has resulted in many publications.

The Tiny Lives Trust adds: “We are immensely proud to help the creation of this biobank, formalising the existing collection of specimens into a sustainable resource for future use, and allowing high quality scientific work to be undertaken. 

“As far as we are aware this is the first such neonatal biobank utilising salvaged samples to support research that promotes survival without impairment and long term health of babies born preterm, small or sick.”

How will the Great North Neonatal Biobank work?

The Great North Neonatal Biobank will start to store its first samples in late 2016/early 2017. Around 100 families a year are expected to contribute, and many thousands of valuable specimens will be accumulated over the coming years.

Parental consent will be obtained for all samples placed in the Biobank, which will be managed by Dr Janet Berrington in line with well established principles and according to the regulations of the Human Tissue Act.  A committee will determine appropriate use of samples within pre-defined ethically approved criteria.

Researchers in Newcastle and outside are able to apply to access these samples.  Research on the biobanked specimens will be aimed at understanding health and disease processes, improving diagnostic and monitoring strategies, and exploring and generating hypotheses for future research focus. The team hope that this resource will improve the health of preterm and sick babies in the future.

Hays Travel

Tiny Lives popped in to Hays Travel, North Shields on 02.03.2017 as staff handed over a cheque for £273.65 which was the total amount raised from their Christmas Shopper Day Trip to York, back in December.

The Hays Travel Foundation also kindly match funded this kind donation, bringing the total to £547.30!

“We are so proud to be able to continue our support for this fantastic charity!” Hays Travel

Hays Travel chq collection 02.03.2017

Louise from Tiny Lives, Andrea, Jordan & Deborah from Hays Travel

The North Shields branch of Hays Travel have supported Tiny Lives since 2015, by donating miniboos directly to the special care baby unit, kindly donating holiday vouchers to help with our fundraising event and also raising funds through various fundraising activities with staff and customers.

Miniboo donation



Tiny Lives would also like to say thank you to the Hays Travel Foundation who have match funded all donations from the North Shields branch, making the total amount raised £872.90 since 2015 – THANK YOU!

Thank you Bilingual


Greggs raise over £3k in 2016


Thank you to all Greggs staff at Balliol Business Park for kindly raising over £3k for Tiny Lives by holding various fundraising activates throughout 2016.

Greggs staff also supported the Northumbria Blood Bikes, below both charities attending a coffee morning organised by staff at Greggs to raised funds.



The Fairs Club Support Tiny Lives


Take a look at the Chronicle Live link for live footage of the night.

“Once again our thanks to everyone at the Fairs Club for choosing to support Tiny Lives for the third year. And a very big thank you to everyone who organised and attended the evening with Malcom MacDonald, plus Newcastle heroes.  It was great to see the evening was a sell out with Newcastle fans and the funds kindly raised will purchase ‘Claire’s Nests’ – developmental care aids that protect, support, and help the development of tiny babies on the RVI Special Care Baby Unit at one of the most critical times in their lives.”

IMG_20170105_201541 IMG_20170105_201550 IMG_20170105_201552 Fairs Club 2017 2