Lord Mayor launches his appeal with a visit to Bradford’s Neonatal Unit

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Martin Love, saw first-hand the amazing work which goes on behind the doors of Bradford Royal Infirmary’s award-winning Neonatal Unit.

Councillor Love has chosen Bradford’s BIG Neonatal Appeal as his charity for the year.

The appeal, which is run by Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – aims to raise £3 million to build extra accommodation for parents to stay close to their babies.

The Lord Mayor was joined by his wife, Lady Mayoress Helen Love, at the Neonatal Unit, where he was greeted by Bradford Teaching Hospitals Chief Executive, Professor Mel Pickup. He met doctors and nurses who care for around 500 premature and sick babies from all over the region each year. They provide intensive care treatment for babies born as early as 23 weeks.

Councillor Love also spoke to parents about their experiences and why enhanced facilities and accommodation would make the world of difference and enable them to play a more active role in the care of their babies.

The unit and clinical staff are known for their ground-breaking work, as they were awarded the prestigious Baby Friendly accreditation in 2018.

Prof Pickup said: “We are honoured that the Lord Mayor of Bradford has chosen our BIG Neonatal Appeal. Our clinicians provide the very best treatment and care in a modern setting, so we believe it only fitting that our parents have superb facilities too.

“The new accommodation will enable our parents to be true partners in care, which is incredibly important for babies and their health and development.

“We look forward to working with the Lord Mayor and hope he has a successful year of fundraising.”

Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Martin Love said:  “Today’s visit was an extremely eye-opening one, and it was very rewarding for Helen and I to meet with both staff and parents in the Intensive Care Unit. The visit gave us a full appreciation of the valuable work of the unit and reaffirmed our decision to choose them as our Civic Appeal for the year.”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress to our Neonatal Unit, to speak to our incredible NHS staff and mums and dads about how the money he raises will help with the care of our babies.

“We were also pleased to welcome them as we celebrate Volunteer’s Week. We couldn’t achieve what we do without the support of our community and volunteer fundraisers. The NHS is treasured by all of us and, together, we want to tackle today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

“We are excited for the year ahead, as we look forward to spreading the word about our BIG Neonatal Appeal and the difference it will make to families across Bradford and beyond.”

While the unit, currently has two bedrooms to accommodate parents, and a further two a short walk away, the appeal aims to raise enough money to:

  • Build an extension of five additional en-suite bedrooms
  • Create a tranquil outdoor sanctuary for parents to be able to reflect in peace and quiet and children to play
  • Refurbish living and kitchen spaces, where parents can prepare food, eat and entertain siblings
  • Refurbish play areas and purchase a range of toys and books to help calm siblings who may be unsettled and anxious.

Hayley added: “As the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we are proud to present our BIG Neonatal Appeal. There are around 240 NHS charities across the UK and, together, we give more than £1 million every day to the NHS nationally.”

You can find out more about Bradford’s BIG Neonatal Appeal at https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/big-neonatal-appeal/

Donations can be made via the official Just Giving website at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/lordmayorsappeal22-23

For further information, contact the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity team on 01274 274809.