Royal Oldham neonatal unit receives premature baby clothing donation from Tesco

Date published: 05 March 2024

Parents receiving essential support at the Royal Oldham hospital are benefiting from packs of premature baby clothes this winter.

At what can be a difficult and worrying time for some parents, Tesco has donated packs of F&F Premature Baby Essentials to the hospital’s neonatal unit.

Each pack contains sleepsuits, bodysuits, hats and scratch mitts.

The Salvation Army is partnering with Tesco to help deliver the clothing.

Jan Marchant, Managing Director for Tesco’s Home & Clothing, said: “Premature babies are often unexpected and it can be difficult to find clothing items to fit at such short notice.

"We want to provide practical help to mums and dads at Royal Oldham during a stressful time and help give the babies a stronger start in life.”

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, on average 7-10% of babies born in England and Wales are born prematurely.

With 23,000 packs of F&F Premature Baby Essentials being given to 157 neonatal units across the country, this means that half of premature babies will receive some of the F&F essentials.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “Having a baby born prematurely can be a really worrying time for so many, and with our hard-working staff across the country continuing to do all they can to provide care and support to premature babies and their families, it is fantastic that Tesco is donating specialist baby clothing to every NHS neonatal unit across England to provide additional help.

“These clothing packs could make a huge difference to tens of thousands of babies and their families who need it most over the next year, and we are extremely grateful to Tesco, and to the Salvation Army, for making this possible.”

Kirk Bradley, Head of Corporate Partnerships from the Salvation Army, added: “We are happy to be supporting Tesco to deliver these much-needed items of clothing to the NHS neo-natal units, which are saving young lives.

“Providing this support means The Salvation Army can continue to provide practical help for people in need across the UK.

"These generous donations provide comfort for the most vulnerable and give these families essentials in their time of need.”

Christmas saw Tesco stores collect tens of thousands of toys from generous shoppers to help struggling families.

And last winter Tesco stepped in to help families struggling with the cost-of-living by donating almost 4,000 new F&F coats to people in need through FareShare, the Salvation Army and the Cottage Family Centre children’s charity in Kirkcaldy.

Tesco Head of Communities, Claire De Silva, said: “Through our Stronger Starts programme, we’re supporting children to get the best possible start in life, whether that’s helping out with their first baby grow, or as they grow up, providing funding for nutritious food and activity equipment in schools and community groups where it is needed most.”

July 2023 saw Tesco launch Stronger Starts: a £5m grant programme, in partnership with Groundwork UK, to give children across the UK a stronger start in life.

The grants help schools and children’s groups provide nutritious food and healthy activities that support young people’s physical health and mental wellbeing, such as breakfast clubs or snacks, and equipment for healthy activities.

Customers can support their local school and children’s groups by dropping the Tesco blue token they receive at checkout into the relevant voting box as they leave the store.

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