Mums’ joy as we give out 20,000 hand-knitted blankets for premature babies

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CUDDLING her premature daughter Skye in a blanket knitted by Sun on Sunday readers, Nicole Amor vowed to treasure it for ever.

Skye is one of 20,000 babies who can now be wrapped in the blankets that flooded in after we launched our Knit A Lot, Help A Tot appeal.

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Hannah Saunders says it means ‘so much’ receiving hand-knitted blankets for her twins Abel and Milton[/caption]

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Nicole and Stuart’s daughter Skye is one of 20,000 babies who will receive one[/caption]

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Adara Stanswood said receiving a blanket for little Teddie made her feel like someone else cared[/caption]

We teamed up with Bliss, the UK charity dedicated to babies born premature or sick.

But as so many readers donated, we can help FOUR more charities.

They are New Life Special Care Babies for premature tots; Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, which arranges for families to stay in houses when their child is in hospital; Camp Simcha, helping ill children and their families in the Jewish community; and Cherished Gowns UK, which gives clothing made from wedding dresses for babies who have died.

PEOPLE CARE’

Last week we distributed them to mums around the country. Nicole, 29, of Newbury, Berks, said: “We’ll treasure the one for Skye for ever.”

Admin worker Nicole and her fiancé Stuart Povey, 28, a mechanical technician, welcomed Skye eight weeks early on March 4.

Nicole said: “The hospital did everything they could to delay her arrival but she was born at 3lb 8oz.

“She developed an infection and we were told to say goodbye to her. It was terrifying. She spent three weeks in intensive care and another week on the high-dependency unit. Little by little she got better.”

Paul Tonge

Jennifer Kirkham said the donations make mums feel less isolated[/caption]

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Hannah Watson was given her blanket via our charity partner, Bliss[/caption]

Nicole got support from New Life, which provides grants for hospitals to buy vital equipment.

She said: “When you stay in hospital for weeks, being given a blanket someone else has knitted for your baby makes you feel like other people care for your child.”

Hannah Saunders, 37, an account manager, also from Berkshire, is mum to twins Abel and Milton, born on October 13, weighing 4lb 10oz and 5lbs 5oz respectively.

She said: “The blankets mean so much. It’s a personal touch, not just white hospital sheets. It really makes you feel like people are rooting for your children too.”

Being given a blanket someone else has knitted for your baby makes you feel like other people care for your child.


Nicole Amor

Trevor Goodall, who set up New Life, will distribute blankets to hospitals in Swindon, Basingstoke, Winchester and Reading.

He said: “So much effort and love has been put into the designs. They will help and comfort so many little babies in their first few weeks of life.”

Hayley Erridge, from Cherished Gowns, which has helped 1.7million families in the past seven years, said: “All the blankets will make such a difference to parents who don’t have years to make memories. We can’t thank readers enough.”

Jon Haward, executive director at Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, said it was “delighted” to get the donations, and added: “Families with babies in neo-natal care are going through an especially stressful time, so it’s wonderful to give them the gift of a blanket for their child.”

The Sun

One of the charities to receive your blankets was New Life Special Care Babies in Reading[/caption]

Daniel Gillis, head of services at Camp Simcha, said: “Neo-natal units often suggest to parents that their babies should have something which smells of Mum and Dad in the incubator to help bonding. These blankets will be a wonderful way to do this.”

Max Vuarnoz, who distributed the blankets around the country with his team from Move It Max, added: “It was an honour to transport these precious blankets.”

Adara Stanswood, 29, from Newbury, had Teddie three weeks early on February 8. He weighed 7lb 3oz and stayed in hospital for 48 hours before he was allowed home.

Adara said: “We were lucky and didn’t have to stay in hospital with Teddie for long but some parents are there for months and the blankets feel like someone else cares about your baby too.”

Hannah Watson was given her blanket via our charity partner, Bliss. Her twins Edward and Arthur were due on April 30, but arrived two and a half months early, weighing just over 2lb each.

‘REALLY HEART-WARMING’

They spent their first nine weeks receiving specialist care at Leeds Children’s Hospital but will soon be ready to transfer to a ward nearer home, in Harrogate.

They will be wrapped in the blankets knitted by our generous readers when they do.

The Sun

Staff at Cherished Gowns UK, in Dover, were amazed at the number of donations[/caption]


Hannah, 32, who drives 40 minutes every day with husband Sam, 31, to be at their sons’ bedsides, said: “You get lots of support from loved ones but to know that strangers have that empathy is really heart-warming.”

Sales administrator Jennifer Kirkham, 32, from Ilmington, Warks, had Harry at 31 weeks on March 31. He was just 4lb 1oz.

She said: “I had very little for Harry, even the nappies were too big, so the blankets are something you can cuddle them in that feels less isolating.”

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