A team of staff from Lloyds bank recently spent the day volunteering their time to give parent facilities at Bristol Royal and St Michaels Hospital a makeover, organised by Bliss, the special care baby charity.
The 35 staff from across the country, as well as volunteers and staff from Bliss, spent the day refurbishing two family rooms, a hallway and bathroom at St Michaels Hospital. They also replanted the garden at Bristol Royal Hospital, as well as sanding and varnishing the garden furniture.
The facilities are used by parents when they have a premature or sick baby on the neonatal unit, and it is important that these facilities enable parent to feel as at home as possible, during what will be one of the most stressful and frightening times in their life.
Lloyds Bank staff, through the banks Day to Make a Difference programme, are encouraged to take one days paid leave each year to volunteer in their local community
Bliss is the charity dedicated to providing the best possible care and support for premature and sick babies, ensuring that they have the best possible chances of survival and of reaching their full potential.
To pay for supplies needed on the day, Lloyds staff raised over £1,600 by holding bake sales, bucket collections and Easter raffles. Some of the supplies were donated by local businesses or offered at a cheaper price. B&Q Hartcliffe provided paint and other equipment at a discounted price, Riverside Garden Centre donated all the plants, and Harmony Blinds of Bristol donated the blinds for the family rooms and bathrooms.
Some of the volunteers were also able to visit the neonatal unit and see some of the babies being cared for. Volunteer and Lloyds staff member Rachel Logue said: “It was a great day, and it was good to be able to see how the charity is helping families by visiting the unit. The new rooms and garden will be really helpful for families, and it’s really inspiring to know that we’ve done our bit.”
The hospital staff are so grateful for all the work that has been done, they are going to name the building that houses the parent rooms, ‘Bliss House.’
Kim Wybrow, from the NICU at St Michaels said: “I have waited so long to make this house somewhere that our parents can go and feel safe and at home in their time of major stress, and thanks to the volunteers, it has a new lease of life. These volunteers have gone out of their way to make a difference to families who are a long way from home. I just can’t thank them enough.”
Chief Executive of Bliss, Caroline Davey said: “We are delighted that we were able to work with Lloyds on this project. It is great to see teams of volunteers take the time to improve these vital facilities and we are hugely grateful for all their hard work and fundraising, which will make a big difference for families.”
If you are interested in fundraising with your workplace for Bliss, you can visit their website http://www.bliss.org.uk/company-support.