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Gloucestershire Business News

Purple praise for work of neo-natal units

Gloucester Cathedral will be lit up in purple today as it joins buildings around the world in marking World Prematurity Day.

Part of Prematurity Awareness Month, the day of celebration will celebrate the work of neo-natal units - including at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Formed in 1982 by a group of grateful parents, The Scoo-B-Doo charity raises money to buy life-saving equipment for the unit, which opened a new 28-cot facility in 2011.

Two parent support groups - HOPE (Helping Other Parents in Special Care) and SHED (Sharing and Helping Every Dad) - work with the charity and unit to help families and fundraising activities.

Coronavirus has hit fundraising activities, including the Prematurity Walk which saw families tackle a mile each last year, and Christmas festivities which are so important in funding the charity's work.

Scoo-B-Doo committee member Sarah Edgeworth said: "As a charity and unit, we have had to completely rethink the way we do things.

"We are continuously thinking of ways that the unit can interact with our HOPE and SHED families. We are having to rely heavily on technology."

She continued: "Without donations from local individuals and businesses, Scoo-B-Doo would not be able to survive.

"It can be simple as an individual running a cake sale to a big chain supermarket like Tesco supporting us, but from a local store level."

Cheltenham-based accountants Randall & Payne have been one of the charity's corporate sponsors since 2018, pledging their support for another year in the quest to raise £15,000 for an incubator.

The company organises a family fun day and have run quiz nights, race nights, walks and cycle rides.

Marketing manager Fiona Hughes marked neo-natal staff appreciation day by taking some sweet treats to the unit for the staff.

She said: "Randall & Payne have thoroughly enjoyed fundraising for Scoo-B-Doo, a small local charity which was already close to the hearts of a few of our staff who learned of the support the charity gives to the neo-natal unit having had first-hand experience, but which has been embraced by the whole firm.

"The medical staff and parents who make up the committee are a joy to work with and get involved with our fundraisers wherever possible.

"It's been important for us to help raise the profile of the charity, which we will continue to do beyond our two-year partnership in order to help them keep the support of other businesses in Gloucestershire, and so that they can continue to give those tiny babies the best start in life."

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