A LARNE midwife was part of a six-strong team which won an outdoor challenge in aid of premature baby charity TinyLife.
‘Call the Midwives’ took part in ‘Operation Lipstick’, an all-female fundraiser at Castlewellan Forest Park.
The ladies’ teamwork skills were put to the test when they took part in orienteering, raft-building and racing and archery.
The team included midwifery sisters, Larne woman Jackie O’Neill, colleagues Susan Andrew-Bruce, Michelle Paul and staff midwives, Louisa Lapworth; Helen Stevenson and Joanne Kirk.
Of the 15 teams, ‘Call the Midwives’ came first scoring the most points following the challenges. The team also raised £2542, for TinyLife. In total, the event raised £17,000 for the charity.
Every day in Northern Ireland, seven babies are born prematurely with some arriving as early as 24 weeks and weighing as little as 1lb.
TinyLife offers practical and emotional support to parents through breast pump loan programmes, family support, education and research programmes.
Helen explained why the charity is close to their hearts saying: “When premature birth occurs, midwives are on the forefront working closely with the neonatal staff and supporting the parents during what can be an extremely emotional and stressful time for them. TinyLife is close to all our hearts for the support they offer to everyone involved.
“As well as having a professional attachment, myself and my colleague, Jackie O’Neill, have also had personal experience of TinyLife as we both had premature babies.
“Jackie had premature twin boys five weeks early and I had a baby boy who was 13-and-a-half weeks premature and weighed just 1lb 13 oz. TinyLife were a great support to me when Joel was in the unit. I used their breast pump hire for my son, and as well as that, I found the website a great online support through information and personal stories which helped give me strength and hope.”