Archive: Jan 2019

Baby daughter’s hospital stay inspires North East Dad to tackle the London Marathon

The whole family (L-R, Evelyn, Martin, Ellie, Esther Rose)

A doting dad is taking on the iconic London Marathon to raise funds for the Tiny Lives Trust and two other charities.

Martin Butterworth will be tackling the notorious 26.2-mile race on Sunday 28th April 2019, to raise funds for Tiny Lives, after his daughter Esther Rose was born 3 months prematurely.

The North Yorkshire born dad – who is a Subject Lead PE Teacher at Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe – was inspired to complete the Marathon after seeing the struggles that Esther Rose went through when she arrived in the world too early, at Newcastle’s RVI hospital. Esther Rose received life-saving care on the hospital’s Neonatal Unit, which is supported by Tiny Lives.

Martin said: “The London Marathon has always been an ambition of mine. I entered the ballot back in April of last year and little did I know the significance of what was about to follow. The arrival of Esther Rose in September and being successful in the ballot in October – which I think was fate – has only encouraged me to fulfil this challenge so I can give something back to all those who provided such amazing care and support over this tough time.”

Martin and his wife Ellie also have another daughter, Evelyn, and had to juggle their lives considerably to fit around Esther Rose’s dramatic arrival; a struggle that parents often face when they are admitted to the Neonatal Unit.

The Tiny Lives Trust aims to help make the Neonatal journey as comfortable as possible for both babies and parents at the RVI. The charity offers emotional support and financial assistance to parents, as well as supporting the Neonatal Unit with equipment, developmental aids and funds for staff training. They also fund several staff posts on the Unit, including a Neonatal Physiotherapist and a Psychologist, to support parental mental health.

Esther Rose on Neonatal UnitEsther Rose today









Martin added: “Tiny Lives, alongside the Neonatal Unit at the RVI in Newcastle, offered outstanding care to our little newborn. I believe this fantastic care and support is the fundamental reason for Esther Rose having such an amazing start to life. It allowed her to go from strength-to-strength at the beginning of her journey.”

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser at The Tiny Lives Trust, said: “We can’t thank Martin enough for bravely taking on the huge challenge of the London Marathon to raise funds for Tiny Lives! We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing fundraisers, many of whom are parents and former residents of the Neonatal Unit, just like Martin.”

As well as Tiny Lives, Martin is also raising funds for The Sick Children’s Trust and BLISS. Martin has set up a Virgin Giving page for those who wish to offer donations.

Lloyd Newcastle announces Tiny Lives as Charity of the Year

Thank you Lloyd Newcastle (for social)

We’re exceptionally proud to announce that The Tiny Lives Trust has been selected as Charity of the Year 2019 for Lloyd Newcastle!

Lloyd Newcastle are one of the North East’s most popular authorised stockists of Mini and BMW, and their team have kindly chosen Tiny Lives as the charity to benefit from their support in 2019.

The staff will be taking part in a whole host of fundraising events throughout the year, with hopes for a pulse-racing abseil or zip wire to boost their grand total.

We’re really looking forward to working with the team and can’t thank them enough for their kind support! It really will make such a difference to babies and their families on the RVI Neonatal Unit.

If your company is interested in becoming a Corporate Supporter for Tiny Lives, you can find more information here.

Parents wanted for potential Media Activity

Volunteers for media activity (2019)

PLEASE NOTE: There has been a huge amount of interest in this opportunity, and we now have enough volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who got in touch. 

Following a recent research study at Newcastle University, we are assisting a local Doctor in finding parents who are willing to take part in some media activity. We are looking for parents who have experienced spontaneous pre-term labour, (where baby was born early without any prior warning).

Please note- this excludes babies who were born prematurely from a planned early delivery or because of a pre-existing medical condition for either parent or baby (eg. – Pre-eclampsia).

Parents who would like to volunteer may be asked to take part in interviews with journalists from national papers, with the possibility of TV and Radio interviews.

If you’d be interested in taking part, please email with:

  • Your full name and age
  • Your partner’s name and age (if applicable)
  • When your baby was born
  • How many weeks gestation your baby was born at

The study succeeded at reducing uterine inflammation in laboratory conditions – which is thought to be a cause of pre-term labour – and is very promising for future developments within this area. Pre-term labour is a relatively under-researched field and so the researcher is keen to find some case studies to support their work.

Brew Dolphin Newcastle choose Tiny Lives as 2019 Charity of the Year


We’re delighted to announce that Brewin Dolphin Newcastle, a Wealth Management firm based in the City Centre, have selected Tiny Lives as their 2019 Charity of the Year!

We’re so excited to work with the team, they already have some amazing ideas; including quizzes, in-house tombolas, cake sales, a sponsored swim and a Family Fun Day in the works. We’re really impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the Brewin Dolphin team, and we can’t thank them enough for kindly choosing Tiny Lives.

You can follow their fundraising journey on Instagram at @brewinfortinylives or by following the hashtag of the same name.

Neonatal Dads wanted for Research Study

Could you help with a Research Request?

Lexi on front page

Tiny Lives is currently working with a 2nd year Occupational Therapy student from the University of Cumbria, who is looking for dads to share their experience of having a premature child admitted to the Neonatal Unit after birth. In order to be considered for the study, you must have been on the Unit at least 2yrs ago (ie. Jan 2017 or earlier).

The research will explore your experience in caregiving for your baby in Neonatal Unit, and the potential difference between the expectation and reality of your role as a dad when your child was born prematurely.

You will be invited to take part in a one-to-one interview with the researcher, Martha, which will take approximately 60-90 minutes. If you would be interesting in taking part, please email

We want your unloved Christmas Presents!

Unloved Xmas Pressies email signature

As much as everyone loves the generous festive season, sometimes you can end up with a few bits and bobs that you might not use (Another bubble bath gift set? More chocolate?!). This year – instead of binning it, or leaving it to gather dust in a corner – why not donate it to Tiny Lives?

We can use your generously donated Christmas gifts as great raffle and tombola prizes throughout 2019, helping to raise money for premature babies and their families on the RVI Neonatal Unit.

If you’d like to donate, please call 0191 230 2112 or email to arrange a drop-off at our office. We may also be able to pick up larger amounts – just let us know.

Please note: In order to be accepted, items must be brand new and ideally in the original packaging (where possible).