On 17th November 2023, a special Family Fun Day, organised by Guernsey’s Neonatal Nurses to celebrate 20 years of working with the PPBF, raised over £2,000 to help other babies and critically ill children in times of need.
The neonatal team invited around 800 families helped by the unit and charity over the last two decades, to get together at Les Beaucamps High School to mark the PPBF’s 20th Anniversary.
Nurse Emma McKane and her partner Craig Winstone were instrumental in organising the event for the charity. Emma said: “We just wanted to give something back, for all the PPBF’s support to the Neonatal Unit staff and its families over the years.”
“So many came and supported the event and said thank you. It was lovely to see them all, I was quite emotional. I’m so pleased we were able to help them.” said Jo Priaulx, Co-Founder, PPBF.
One of the babies at the event, helped by the charity, was Carla Heaume’s son, Jacques, now seven. He was born very premature at 25 weeks weighing 1lb 10oz and spent around 4 months at Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital. The family were able to stay in Isaac’s Pad, now one of three vital PPBF compassionate housing apartments, next door to the hospital. “The charity was a godsend”; said Carla. “Isaac’s Pad was a home-from-home and we were able to have family come visit and meet Jacques in hospital. We set up a little Christmas tree and the flat gave us a bit of normality. We are so grateful to the PPBF for everything they did for us.”
Neonatal nurses along with PPBF Ambassador, Alexis Morgan, and Dominque Davison (both of whose daughters have been supported by the charity) gathered many prizes for a children’s and adult’s raffle and provided face painting. There were also plenty of homemade cakes and refreshments sold by the nurses.
Emma McKane’s daughter, Tayah Winstone, spent the afternoon applying glitter tattoos while PPBF Ambassadors, Nikki Trebert and partner Tim Pond with daughter Maisie, set up a creative corner for children to decorate snowflakes and make reindeer food.
Meanwhile, PPBF co-founder Andy Priaulx and Seb Priaulx, coordinated Scalextric races with the children, with the help of Blake Meerveld, son of the PPBF’s Sammy Meerveld. The set was kindly donated by the Scalextric company a few years ago.
A special mention goes to Les Beaucamps School for their support in providing staff and wonderful students, who made their school proud, helping run the event smoothly and capture photos with the guidance of Tim Langlois, who also directed the group of families for a big PPBF family shot. Additionally, Champion-Smith Creative kindly filmed during the event.
The PPBF would like to thank South African singer, Lauren-Lee, for recording a special performance of her song ‘To Womb It May Concern’ about her premature son. She also sang two other amazing performances of beautiful songs, to celebrate the charity’s 20th Anniversary and World Prematurity Day. You will be able to watch these performances on our YouTube channel very soon.
Another family that had been helped by the charity, was Claire Garnham’s. Her daughter, Jessica, had needed treatment in Southampton and the family stayed in the cosy charity flat. Claire’s business, Exotic Pet Experiences, brought snakes, bearded dragons and a tarantula, to educate and allow people to handle them safely. Clare said: “The PPBF were just amazing. And we’re happy to give something back.”
A new ‘Pre-Loved Baby Clothes’ scheme was launched at the event, set up by Jo’s daughter, Dannii Priaulx, along with Ellie Reid. Attendees were able to purchase or trade in their pre loved baby clothes. Islanders can drop their clean pre-loved baby clothes age 12 months and under in a special drop-off container outside the charity’s office at Picquet House on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
If you’d like to find out about the PPBF’s Buy-A-Night campaign to help support families staying in the PPBF’s compassionate housing, please click here. You can also watch ITV’s coverage of the event here.