Archive: May 2019

Trinity Square Gateshead to support Tiny Lives with One Great Day celebrations

On Saturday 22nd June, Trinity Square in Gateshead will be hosting their annual One Great Day celebrations and once again they will kindly be supporting Tiny Lives throughout the day.

This free Family Fun Day sees families flock to the Square to enjoy a whole host of entertainment, including: cake decorating, face painting, games, a raffle, a tombola and more. The theme of the event this year is ‘Mad Hatters and Monsters’, so expect some suprises…


Tiny Lives staff will have a stall on the day and will be chatting to supporters and spreading the word about the work of the charity. There will also be prizes to be won on the stall, so make sure to come and say hello if you’re in the area – it’s sure to be a wonderful day!

One Great Day will be taking place from 11.00am – 3.00pm, you can find out more on their website.

They will also be raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital on during the event.

GNR19 – Why I’m Running by Kelly Fields

We asked our GNR19 runners why they kindly chose to run the gruelling 13 mile race for Tiny Lives. One runner, Kelly, told us about her inspiration.
Team Oliver (2)

Our son Oliver was born at 27+1 weeks in March of 2017, weighing a tiny but beautiful 2lb 9 and a half oz.  A spontaneous labour woke me through the night and a few hours later our boy had arrived; there he was being held up wrapped in a tiny ‘rosti’ bag for us to see before being whisked away to the Neonatal Unit to begin lifesaving treatment.

We waited for what seemed like forever to hear how Oliver was doing but ‘no news was good news’ as far as I was concerned.  We learned that Oliver was a fighter and had managed to take a few breaths on his own, but he wasn’t quite strong enough to do it for very long. We finally met Oliver a long 5 hours later, in his little incubator but doing well. Walking onto Ward 35 for the first time was honestly one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done but amazing at the same time. Oliver was being given amazing care and we quickly felt at home.

At 5 days old, Oliver had a scan of his brain which was routine for preterm babies of his gestation and unfortunately the result was something we couldn’t have ever expected. He was doing so well, already off his ventilator and doing great on cpap. But his scan showed significant brain damage and we were told to expect that Oliver would have mid to high-range Cerebral Palsy. We were devastated but encouraged by the staff to concentrate on Oliver’s immediate development and how he was doing so well in the present. One doctor told me that although Oliver’s brain had been damaged we needed to remember that his brain was just a tiny part of him and that he was still our boy. I will never forget those words.

Oliver went from strength-to-strength and was moved to Green Area on our wedding anniversary! Finally,after 73 days, on the 23rd May Oliver came home – no oxygen, no tubes, nothing. Just Oliver.

Team Oliver (3)

Now, despite a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, we have a very cheeky, walking, talking mischief maker. He is 2 years old and doing amazingly, proving us all wrong. The only sign of his cerebral palsy is that his right side is weaker than his left.

We can’t thank the team on Ward 35 enough for their care of us as well as Oliver. Our Daughter Evie was always fussed over and being just 2 year old at the time she did so well going back and forth to the hospital to see her baby brother and we credit this with how well we were looked after as a family.

Thank you Ward 35 and Tiny Lives. We will always support you in your work.

You can support Kelly and all of Team Oliver here.

Team Oliver (4)


Photography Volunteers wanted


DJ (11)

Tiny Lives are looking for parent volunteers who are currently on the Neonatal Unit with their baby to take part in an upcoming photo shoot, to help promote the charity and the work of Ward 35. Please see below for details:

Wednesday 29th May, approx 10am – 2pm – General Photography

Volunteers will be helping Tiny Lives to refresh their stock of images from the Neonatal Unit, which will be used on our website and in marketing materials to help promote the work of the charity and to help with fundraising.

Images may include pictures of your baby in the incubator with Miniboo etc, images of you holding your baby/linking fingers/doing cares, amongst others. If partners/siblings were able to be involved with the shoot, this would be a bonus.

These shoots may take from 10 – 30 minutes, depending on how many shots we need to take.

We would be very grateful to any parent who is willing to help us with this! Please email  to register your interest, or for more info.

Please note – this shoot was originally planned for Friday 10th May. This is the new date.

Former Ward 35 mam to hold live music night for Tiny Lives

Following the birth of her daughter, Betsy, 8 weeks prematurely in August 2017, mam Rachel has kindly chosen to support Tiny Lives with a music-filled fundraising event in June.


Speaking about her time on the Neonatal Unit, Rachel said: “When Betsy was born she needed immediate support from the Neonatal Unit and an operation at 2-days old to fix a problem in her intestines. We spent almost 2 months on Unit as she recovered and grew… We are so grateful to Tiny Lives and all of the staff in the Neonatal Unit at the RVI for making it possible for our daughter to live the wonderful life she does and for the exceptional care of us, as her parents.”

Betsy, who has Downs Syndrome, is now almost 2 and is happy and thriving. Her story features on the Tiny Lives website, which can be read here.

Rachel’s event will be taking place on Saturday 8th June, 7pm at The Cumberland Arms in Byker. As well as live music from local artists, the night will feature a raffle and tombola!

Rachel Mewes Gig

RVI Ward 35 Staff celebrate Kangaroo Care with new video

This Wednesday (15th May 2019) marks #InternationalKangarooCareAwarenessDay and we’re kicking off the celebrations early!

Tiny Lives worked with Ward 35 staff to create the below film, which celebrates the amazing act of Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin. We asked Ward 35 staff why Kangaroo Care is so important, and they all gave wonderful, insightful answers regarding this simple bonding technique.

With research showing that Kangaroo Care helps with parental bonding, helps soothe baby, helps stabilise the baby’s oxygen levels and encourages breast-milk production, it is a very important part of the Neonatal experience. Find out more from the video below: