Our Mam’s Team is made up of Mams who have all been through the Neonatal journey on Ward 35, and who volunteer their time to support Mams who are currently on the Ward.
They have a WhatsApp group titled ‘Mams Chat’ where you can chat with our peer supporters and other Ward 35 Mams. Scan the QR code to join.
If you’re interested in becoming a Peer Support Volunteer for the Mams Team, you can register your interest here.
Hi, I’m Carly, I had my little boy Harry, at 30 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020. We spent 7 weeks on the unit before coming home. During the pandemic support on the ward was limited. Once we came home and restrictions started lifting the support from Tiny Lives was amazing and knowing now this support that should have been available during my time on the ward hit hard. When I saw the position of peer support volunteer available it was a no brainier, I vowed to make sure no one else would feel like I had during their time on ward 35. I’m always here for a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
Hi I’m Laura, my little girl Alice was born full term on the ward in 2020. Our stay was unexpected and I was blindsided- Alice wasn’t premature but needed breathing support and we’ve had oxygen at home too. It can be really isolating having a baby on the unit especially if no one you know has shared that experience. It can be really helpful to speak to someone who has been there before you. No one’s journey is exactly the same but we all know how scary it feels to have a baby on SCBU.
I’m Nicola, mammy to Ivy-Rose born at 30+2 weighing 783g. We spent time across both Sunderland and the RVI NICU’s. Navigating NICU is hard, but we’re here to support you through your time in hospital and beyond. I wanted to become a peer supporter to help families currently on the rollercoaster that is NICU, being a listening ear, a cheerleader, and a glimmer of hope. It’s important to speak to people who know what you’re going through, we’re ready when you are.
I’m Jan. I’m a mum of two boys named Oliver & Henry. Oliver was born at 23 weeks in 2009 and Henry was born at 28 weeks in 2012. After spending 4 months with Oliver and 2 months with Henry on Ward 35 at the RVI, I wanted to use my experience to help and support parents that were going through similar experiences. When the opportunity to be a Volunteer Peer support Mam for Tiny Lives came about it was something I really wanted to do. Supporting and listening to parents when they are going through challenging times or when when life hasn’t always gone to plan is very rewarding and is something I’m very passionate about. I hope I can make a difference to any parent that needs support or just someone to talk to.
My granddaughter was on the unit in 2019 after being born at 26 weeks. Holding it together as a grandparent was tricky. It’s a unique situation, you see your baby going through this trauma and are scared for them, you are also so scared for their baby, your grandchild who you don’t have the chance to pick up and love in the way you had hoped. You try and be positive and say all of the right things – and at the same time you go to bed at night and pray that all of the horrible things going round in your head don’t happen. I would have loved to have the opportunity to speak to someone else who had been through something similar which is why I wanted to become a peer supporter for grandparents. Although I no longer live in the North East so unable to come onto the unit I am available via email Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org