Archive: Jul 2018

Brave supporter Ian takes to the sky for Tiny Lives

Ian Gardener (Paragliding) (5)

Tiny Lives supporter Ian recently took his fundraising to new heights as he bravely completed a sponsored Paraglide whilst on holiday in Greece!

Ian – who has a fear of heights – was inspired to take up the challenge after his granddaughter spent some time on the Neonatal Unit. He chose something that was a bit of an unusual idea, as well as something that he’d really find difficult, in order to encourage people to give generously for Tiny Lives.

Accompanied by his wife and family, who were watching from the beach, Ian dove off the cliffs in Greece on the 22nd June, 2018.

After a safe landing, he returned to the Tiny Lives offices to hand in the money he had raised. His total so far stands at an amazing £584.00, with money still expected to arrive.

We’re so grateful to him for his bravery in taking part in this paragliding challenge. Well done Ian!

Ian Gardener (Paragliding) Ian Gardener (Paragliding) (2)

Sainsbury’s Northumberland Street announces Tiny Lives as local Charity of the Year


We are thrilled to have been voted as ‘Local Charity of the Year’ for Sainsbury’s Northumberland Street!

Tiny Lives was chosen by public vote from a shortlist of charities after an amazing show of support – especially on the Tiny Lives Facebook page – where the first call for votes was shared an incredible 143 times.

Tiny Lives will now benefit from a year of fundraising from Sainsbury’s Northumberland Street branch, including collection tins throughout store, as well as dedicated fundraising events.

Leanne Rolf, Store Manager at the branch, said: “I’m looking forward to working alongside the trust and hopefully making a difference one way or another.” It’s a cause close to Leanne’s heart, as her nephew Teddy was born prematurely and spent time on the Neonatal Unit.

The team at Tiny Lives are so excited to work alongside Sainsbury’s over the next year, and we can’t wait to see what ideas the team come up with to raise some money – we know they’ll be great advocates for the charity.

Thank you also to everyone who voted for us, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Dedicated supporter James takes on an Ironman Challenge for Tiny Lives

James Doyle has long been an amazing supporter of Tiny Lives, along with his employer MTrec, where he is Technical Manager. However, he will soon be taking his support further than ever before and completing ‘one of the biggest sporting challenges of his life’ in aid of the Tiny Lives Trust.

In just a few days time, on Sunday 15th July, James will be raising funds by taking part in an Ironman Triatholon in Bolton; a 2.4-mile open water swim, 112-mile cycle and then a 26-mile run – all in one go and all straight after the other!

James said: “For the past 6 months I have been training every day and sometimes twice a day, to reach a physical and mental state which should enable me to complete the Ironman… This has been a huge challenge, as I am genuinely very tired all of the time, the training over the past 8 weeks especially has been very demanding and the closer the event gets the greater the feeling of trepidation.”.

MTrec – a recruitment agency based in Newcastle – and James have been great supporters of Tiny Lives over the years. MTrec currently sponsor all of our Great North Run running vests, meaning that each runner can have a top-quality, branded vest for their Great North Run journey. We’re so grateful to MTrec for their ongoing support with these, as it is something that Tiny Lives may not have been able to fund alone and really helps  to spread awareness of the charity and boosts our runners’ motivation.

GNR18 Running vests

Tiny Lives running vests, sponsored by MTrec

We want to wish James the best of luck for this incredible challenge, we can’t thank him enough for his determination and dedication!

You can sponsor James on his JustGiving page.

Team Fatboys rides again to raise money for Tiny Lives

Team Fat Boys during a previous Tiny Lives cycle challenge

Team Fat Boys, a group self-described as ‘Fat blokes that think they can cycle’, will be taking on a new challenge this weekend to raise money for Tiny Lives. The group of 27 amateur cyclists will be tackling a challenging 200-mile route, beginning in Edinburgh on Friday 6th July and ending just outside of the Neonatal Unit at the RVI in Newcastle on Sunday 8th July.

This is the eighth time that the Fat Boys have cycled for a good cause, with a previous challenge for Tiny Lives in 2016 taking them almost 200 miles across Northumberland. The Team have raised over £40,000 for various charities to date and are eager to continue their amazing fundraising. This year they are also fundraising for Maggie’s Centres, a cancer support charity, as well as Tiny Lives.

The Team was formed by Lee Nelson, who was inspired following his own personal experience of life on the RVI Neonatal Unit along with his wife, Paula. Their daughter Abbie was born 16 weeks prematurely in 2002 and spent a further 16 weeks on the Unit before heading home. Lee said:

“Being born so early, Paula and I didn’t know if our daughter would even survive her birth, let alone be able to cope with the traumatic days and weeks ahead. The care and attention that the amazing team at the Unit provided was very much a life opportunity and we later felt compelled to give something back to express our thanks, thus Team Fat Boys was formed.”

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser at Tiny Lives, said: “Team Fat Boys are some of our most amazing supporters, they work so hard to raise money and awareness with their remarkable challenges and always do it with a smile and sense of humour! We’re so grateful that they have again chosen to fundraise for Tiny Lives. The money raised will make such a difference to the babies and families on the Neonatal Unit, we really can’t thank Lee and the rest of the boys enough!”

Lee and Paula hope that their story may give hope to other parents who find themselves on the Neonatal Unit, adding: “When our local vicar baptised Abbie on her first birthday, he very eloquently spoke about how he often preached about miracles but very rarely had the opportunity to hold one……this spoke volumes of our daughter’s tenacity and will to live, the skill set and care of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) team and the reason why we cycle every year. We give thanks every day to be so fortunate to have our beautiful daughter with us now, 16 years later.”

Newborn Abbie on the Neonatal Unit

Newborn Abbie on the NICU             

The Fat Boys will be keeping everyone informed on their progress on their Twitter page and anyone who would like to donate to their cause can do so on their JustGiving page.

Nursery Summer Fair raises an amazing £1248.43 for Tiny Lives

Solway House summer fair

Bright Start Childcare – based at Solway House in Benton – recently hosted their first ever Summer Fair, raising an incredible £1248.43 for Tiny Lives in the process!

Guest, parents and excited children of all ages headed to the Fair to enjoy a delicious BBQ (with perfect summer weather!), plenty of games, a cake stall and a raffle with prizes from local businesses. Princess Elsa even popped by to say hello to everyone.

Danielle Hall, Nursery Manager at Bright Start Childcare met with Amy Patterson, Fundraising and Admin Assistant from Tiny Lives, this week for a cheque collection of the money raised.

Cheque collection with Amy (July 2018)

We want to take this chance to say a huge thank you to all of them team at the Nursery, they really have raised an amazing amount!

You can see some more photos for the Summer Fair on their Facebook page.

NICU dad takes on 24-hour Endurance Race to raise money for Tiny Lives

Baby Maisie in NICU (3) Steven, Lynne and Maisie (2)

Steve Shaw, a long-time supporter of Tiny Lives, has recently completed a new fundraising challenge in the form of a gruelling 24-hour endurance race.

Along with 2 friends acting as ‘support runners’, Steve took part in the ‘Trailblaster’, a 5k loop course. The aim of the day was too see how many laps he could get in 24-hours, with continuous running from 10.00am on Saturday 30th June to 10.00am on Sunday 1 July – Steve managed an incredible 83 miles! That’s around 27 laps of the course, one after another.

Steve was inspired to raise money for Tiny Lives as his daughter Maisie was born prematurely at 25 weeks in 2011, weighing just 1lb 13oz. He and his wife Lynne endured a very stressful 11 weeks on the Neonatal Unit as Maisie was cared for and slowly grew in strength. She is now a happy, healthy little girl!

We can’t thank Steve and Lynne enough for their dedicated fundraising over the years, and their commitment to raising money for the Tiny Lives Trust.

If you’d like to donate to Steve’s cause, you can do so on his JustGiving Page.

Baby Maisie in NICU

Maisie in the Neonatal Unit