Welcome to our series, ‘Meet the charity’, where we meet charities from the Channel Islands. We find out what they are doing, how they are helping others and how we can help them succeed.
Today, we meet the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.
The Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation has come of age and is now 18 years old. The Foundation has been supporting families with premature babies and sick children since 2003.
Tell us about the charity’s ‘journey’
The Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation (PPBF) was set up by three times World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx MBE and his wife Jo in 2003 following the premature births of both their children.
“Having premature babies was a frightening time. We were supported a lot by neonatal staff which was amazing, afterwards we just wanted to help other families in our community who were going through the same thing.
We initially started out by raising funds to buy hot cots for the Guernsey neonatal unit. It grew from there. We helped the unit by providing a staff training simulator doll, incubators, ventilators, a cerebral monitor amongst other items. Families would have previously had to travel to Southampton for this equipment.”
The charity then saw that families on the neonatal unit had arrived there in such a rush that many didn’t have any toiletries packed or any tiny baby clothes. It now make up and provides each family (approximately 60-90 per year) on the unit with a PPBF Baby Box, a beautiful big box that can be used afterwards as a memories box. Inside is packed full essentials like tiny nappies, water wipes, nappy cream, baby grows, hand knitted blankets, hats and booties.
There is also there is a PPBF notebook for the parents to journal their time on the unit which parents find helpful to look back on. Inside is also luxury toiletries from Plaisirs for Mum, from Bayliss & Harding for baby and also a kind gift of a pewter bear photo holder from Becky Rowe Jewellery. The PPBF Baby Boxes cost over £100 each.
In 2017 the charity had grown to provide two compassionate housing flats next door to Southampton Hospital. The Foundation was kindly gifted a flat, named Isaac’s Pad after a lovely family’s grandson. They donated the flat to the charity after their son and daughter-in-law had first-hand experience of what it was like not to have accommodation available close to the hospital.
A second flat was purchased thanks to the generosity of the local community embracing the charity’s ‘Buy A Brick’ campaign. A ‘wall of fame’ full of names of kind donors decorates the entrance hall of ‘Aggies’ Burrow’ to say thank you.
Having the two home-from-home flats has enabled the charity to also help families of critically poorly children with cancer as well as families of premature babies needing care at Southampton Hospital. Providing families with a safe-haven during the most difficult times, the proximity of the flats to the hospital lets families rest safe in the knowledge that they’re only a couple of minutes’ walk away from their child’s beside at any time of day or night.
In 2021 we were proud to welcome Patron, Madam Deputy Bailiff along with twelve wonderful Ambassadors to help the four Trustees plus volunteers spread the good work of the charity.
How do you make people’s lives better?
Taking the stress away from them having to worry about the mundane things and letting them focus on the more important things – their oncoming baby or sick child.
By providing a place to stay, helping with travel, paying for food, nappies/milk and essential items if that help is needed.
Can you talk us through a typical working day for the team?
Each day is different. Some days we’re busy speaking to families needing help, others we’re planning or attending fundraisers, liaising with the media, meeting with the neonatal unit, the list goes on!
Where is your funding from?
We don’t receive any funds from the States of Guernsey. The charity receives all funds through applying for grants, from fundraisers and donations.
How has Covid-19 impacted you?
Like every charity we have had to postpone a few events but thankfully we have got through the Covid period. There may be a knock-on effect but we just keep positive and work through it.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a charity?
Finding Volunteers for events – everyone is so busy!
Can you share any pleasant surprises/experiences?
Achieving the Queens Award (equivalent of an MBE for charities) was a lovely experience. Also gratefully receiving thoughtful cards of thanks and seeing all the people we have helped grow.
How can people donate? …
We’re launching PPBF ‘Buy A Night’ campaign. We could really do with the help of the community and businesses to please ‘buy a night’:
- at just £5 a month (£60 for a year) to secure a night of PPBF compassionate housing; bringing a local family of a premature baby or critically poorly child the peace of mind of a comfortable place to sleep when they need it the most.
- You get the chance of yourself winning a night in a luxury hotel by being automatically entered into the exclusive PPBF Buy A Night Raffle.
- You also get to choose your date on a special calendar on the PPBF website.
- Choose which flat you’d like to sponsor.
- Add a name (possibly your own child or grandchild’s birthday) to the Buy A Night Calendar.
Thank you so much.
How to contact the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation:
- Telephone: +44 7781 160080
- Address: PPBF, Bon Repos, Rue De L’Aitte, St Pierre du Bois, Guernsey, GY7 9BP
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