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Friends of the Baby Unit turns 45

Local Derby charity, Friends of The Baby Unit is turning the modest age of 45 on 24 July. The Friends of the Baby Unit also fondly known as FOBU is the charity linked to supporting the neonatal unit at Royal Derby Hospital.

Over the last 45 years, the charity has raised over £2 million for all the special miracles that have been lovingly cared for by the health staff at the hospital. Many of the fundraising projects have included life-saving state-of-the-art equipment along with more everyday items such as blankets and clothing.     

More importantly, over the last year, during the pandemic, the 'friends' worked even hard to support the families who needed the unit. With the support and guidance from the staff at the unit, the Friends were able to provide food and drink to those parents who were unable to leave the unit.

Last October, the Friends of the Baby Unit were able to raise vital funds for a dedicated Bereavement Room – The Forget Me Not Suite. The room supports and allows bereaved parents the opportunity to spend precious moments with their child.

Over the last 45 years, the charity has raised over £2 million for all the special miracles that have been lovingly cared for by the health staff at the hospital. Many of the fundraising projects have included life-saving state-of-the-art equipment along with more everyday items such as blankets and clothing.

More importantly, over the last year, during the pandemic, the 'friends' worked even hard to support the families who needed the unit. With the support and guidance from the staff at the unit, the Friends were able to provide food and drink to those parents who were unable to leave the unit.

Last October, the Friends of the Baby Unit were able to raise vital funds for a dedicated Bereavement Room – The Forget Me Not Suite. The room supports and allows bereaved parents the opportunity to spend precious moments with their child.

The Friends of the Baby Unit was founded by Kate Repton who has spent over 44 years fundraising for life-saving equipment for the unit. Kate created the charity when her daughter Lucy sadly passed away in 1975 but promised to have a lasting legacy in memory.

Kate said:

'I am so proud of the Friends of the Baby Unit and everything it does for parents and families. This, of course, is not possible without the dedicated staff at the unit who work tirelessly every day to care for all precious miracles that need extra love at the start of their life. The charity, every year goes from strength to strength, and even during the pandemic, we have been able to raise much-needed funds to support the unit.'

Fundraising didn't stop the friends, who have been working hard to keep valuable funds topped up. Led by the Chair, Andy Blurton, who has been encouraging local people to keep giving no matter how small.

Andy said:

'I have been Chair of the charity for over 18 months with most of it during the pandemic. It has been a challenging year for us and like many, we have had to find other ways to keep encouraging the support from people. We are keen to do some traditional fundraising events over the coming months including our birthday party. It is invited guests only due to current restrictions however we there are still many ways in which someone can help.'

Karen Sampson, NICU Senior Sister at the unit said:

‘Our NICU have been blessed with a Fairy Godmother over the last 45 years who has worked tirelessly to raise huge amounts of money to be able to provide a wide range of equipment to support the work that we do on the unit.

Without the grit and determination of Kate Repton to ensure that something positive came from the sad loss of her daughter Lucy, none of this would have been possible.

As a Unit we are eternally grateful for all her hard work and dedication and the support that the FOBU Team have given to us over the last 45 years.’

To find out more about news and events follow the Friends of the Baby Unit on Facebook and here on our website.

August 11, 2021

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FRIENDS OF THE BABY UNIT DERBY
CHARITY NO: 156864

ROYAL DERBY HOSPITAL
UTTOXETER ROAD
DERBY
DE22 3NE

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