Top Ten! | Smallest Things 2016 Moments 

It’s been quite a year for The Smallest Things – Check out our Top Ten Moments!

  1. 126,000 signatures! Our petition to extend maternity leave for mothers of babies born premature has received overwhelming support this year and has now been handed into Minister Margot James MP.
  2. In the News! In recent months The Smallest Things campaign to extend leave for parents of premature babies has rarely been out of the news! Covered by Sky News, BBC News, Victoria Derbyshire, ITV News, Channel 5 News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio London, Heart FM, Smooth FM, The Times, The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Record…. it really has been incredible! 
  3. Launch of our Preemie Proud Red Book Stickers! In September we launched our Preemie Proud Red Book stickers. Used to personalise a baby’s read book health records, the stickers act as a clear reminder to health professional of a babies NICU history. The stickers have been hugely popular and we will be able to offer them to parents again in the New Year. 
  4. Maternity and Paternity (Premature Birth) Bill. On 16 October 2016 Steve Reed MP introduced the #PrematurityBill to the House of Commons, calling for a change in current parental leave legislation. Receiving cross-party support, the Bill will now have its second reading on the 24 March 2017. 
  5. Meeting with the Minister! Meeting with Margot James MP really was a top moment of 2016! We had been trying to secure a meeting with the business minister for over a year, so to be able to finally sit down with the minister to discus our maternity leave campaign was a huge step.
  6. Mumsnet Best Campaigner Award! In November, The Smallest Things Founder Catriona Ogilvy collected the Mumsnest Best Campaigner Award at the prestigious blogging awards. 
  7. Guest Posts In 2016 we have published more parent stories on our Facebook page and website. This have been really successful, offering families support through sharing of experiences and raising awareness of the neonatal journey.
  8. Maternal Mental Health: 2 in 5 mothers experience mental health difficulties following premature birth and in 2016 we have been raising awareness. Smallest Things supporters have bravely shared their stories of PTSD following premature birth in the national press and our Preemie Proud stickers reminds health visitors that preemie mums may need more support. 
  9. World Prematurity Month and the #NotMatLeave campaign! Throughout November we joined other organisations and volunteers to celebrate World Prematurity Month. We launched our #NotMatLeave campaign, sharing pictures portraying why time spent in neonatal intensive care is not maternity leave.
  10. Scottish Parliament Debate The Smallest Things campaign! And lastly, 2016 ended with The Smallest Things campaign to extend maternity and paternity leave being debated by MSP’s in The Scottish parliament!

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