One in eight babies are born prematurely - in the UK that’s over 90,000 babies every year. Rachael Marsh and her team at The Ickle Pickles Children's Charity work tirelessly to give these babies the best chance of life.
We sat down with Rachael to hear about the work they do and how you can help.
Hi Rachael, first things first, what's your role at the Ickle Pickles Children's Charity?
Which causes does the Ickle Pickles Children's Charity support and what work do you do?
We raise funds for sick and premature babies across England and Wales to buy essential, life saving equipment to give babies the best chance of life. This includes incubators, ventilators, monitors (to name a few).
We also help to improve the facilities for parents and families of the babies treated in neonatal units to help support them during the stress of the neonatal journey.
What sort of things do you use donations for?
Incubators, ventilators, breast pumps to help mums express their milk until their baby is strong enough to breastfeed, reclining chairs to ensure essential skin to skin time which helps with bonding and baby nests to help mimic the womb when the babies are first born.
The list is long...
What projects have you worked on that you're most proud of?
That's a difficult question to answer, but it's possibly supporting neonatal units in the most deprived areas where fundraising isn't an option. For these units we use our unrestricted funds (where available) to purchase items that they most desperately need. This is often in areas where some of the mums are affected by trafficking, drug or physical abuse and poverty.
What are the biggest challenges still to overcome?
Every neonatal unit is underfunded so there is always a need for equipment to be purchased by sources outside of the NHS. We don't ever have a unit saying they have enough and don't need anything......
Other than donating, what’s the one thing people can do to support your charity and its mission?
Nominate us to be their corporate charity of the year and talk about us to their friends and family to help spread the word about the work we do.
Also, encourage contacts to follow, like and tag us on social media.
If you would like to support the Ickle Pickles Children's Charity, download the Toucan app using this link and they'll automatically appear in your Giving Portfolio when you first log in.
Or head to www.icklepickles.org.