Paul Lowe from our Business Transformation team visited the neonatal unit where Paul's newborn son received treatment this week with his team-mate, Richard Green, to find out how the money raised by Team One Manchester in the Great Manchester Run was helping local families.
On Sunday 28 May, One Manchester staff joined tens of thousands of runners of all ages and abilities taking part in the Great Manchester Run, raising £2000 for local neonatal charity, SPOONS.
Founded last year by a small group of parents who have experienced neonatal care at both Royal Oldham and North Manchester hospitals, SPOONS raises awareness of neonatal care and fundraises to improve family services, facilities and family centred care.
The charity's founder and trustee, Kirsten Mitchell was certainly appreciative of the support from 'Team One Manchester'. She said: “We’re a very small and new charity, so this donation will help improve services and support on offer to families in the hospitals and once they go home.
“From making the family bedrooms more comfortable, to providing welcome packs for when families arrive and sending milestone cards to families once they leave to celebrate things like first cuddles, the volunteers who run the charity know it’s the little things that make a massive difference because they have all been parents on the units.
This fantastic local charity provided invaluable support to Paul and his partner, Becks, following the birth of their first child, Michael, who developed acute septicaemia.
Paul said: “Coming back here brings it all back. You never expect it to happen to you but it happens. We went in there with a day’s worth of clothes and food and ended up there for 12 days - some families end up in there for a lot longer - and while the medical staff are superb, they’re focused on the child as they should be. For those first few days as a parent, you don’t know what you’re doing and what's happening, so you have to just put your trust in the doctors and nurses.
"It’s really hard to put into words but for those 12 days they [the volunteers from SPOONS] hld your hand; just having someone who’s been there asking how you are and getting you a drink, it sounds so basic but you can’t put a figure on it.
"The little things like the milestone cards and the 'going home' packs that the money has helped provide, they're simple things but they're massive and they're what keep you going."
“When we decided we were going to enter the Greater Manchester Run, I suggested fundraising for SPOONS it was really humbling that everyone was happy to support it because they could see how much support they’d given us as a family. With it being a small charity, the money will all go directly to helping the families and allow them to be even more ambitious in the support they can provide.”
Enrique Romero, Paul Graham, Andrew Russell and Dan Skorupa completed the half marathon, while a further 10 staff completed the 10k race with Richard Green, leading the pack finishing in just 42 minutes and 7 seconds.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who ran in aid of SPOONS, especially Paul who said he’d do anything he could to help us and has been true to his word."
For more information about SPOONS visit: www.spoons.org.uk