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Coveted nursing award for Bliss Family Group founder

11 May 2015

Congratulations to Sarah Brooks, who set up the Middlesbrough Bliss Family Group, on receiving this year’s prized Nightingale nursing award from the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Sarah, a staff nurse on the neonatal unit at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, also won the staff nurse of the year award at the Trust’s annual awards ceremony.

The 34-year-old received the awards for her outstanding contribution to patient care which went above and beyond what is expected of her. This includes setting up a Bliss Family Group in her spare time.

After listening to the concerns and worries of parents and relatives of special care babies, Sarah felt they would benefit from having the chance to meet up once their babies have left the neonatal unit.

As well as acting as a play group for babies, the group offers parents and relatives the chance to socialise and share advice with others who have had similar experiences.

Sarah actively promotes the family group to her colleagues on the unit, to ensure all families on the unit are aware they can attend. She has also promoted the group in her local papers, to raise awareness with even more parents of premature and sick babies in the area.

The group meets up twice a month and anyone interested in attending the Middlesbrough Family Group’s meetings should visit:

Bliss Family Groups provide a local network for parents and families of premature and sick babies. They are run by volunteers who have had experience of special care and can provide practical and emotional support to families.

To enquire about becoming a Bliss Family Group volunteer, or to find groups in your area, please visit:


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