Tag Archives: Tommy’s Baby Award

Tommy’s Awards Nomination – a HUGE thank you

I was truly surprised and very honored when my Smallest Things blog was long listed for the Tommy’s Mums Voice Awards at the end of last year.

Although I did not made it onto the shortlist this time, just to be considered was a wonderful recognition for The Smallest Things campaign to raise awareness of premature birth and the needs of parents following a neonatal stay.

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to write to Tommy’s in support of my nomination. I was sent some copies of the correspondence they received in support of my blog. Reading them made me very proud of everything The Smallest Things has achieved in such a short space of time.

“Catriona has worked tirelessly and passionately to bring the issues surrounding premature babies to the public’s attention. She writes from the heart, telling her own story and encouraging others to do the same, to help people understand that having a premature baby or babies is an ordeal that can have a profound effect long after the NICU discharge letter is signed. As a mum to premature twins myself, I’m grateful for the voice Catriona gives to all NICU parents out there, and her campaign to extend maternity leave has achieved incredible support and continues to gain momentum… if anyone can get the law changed, Catriona (and her 11,000+ supporters) can!”

“I feel that smallest things should be shortlisted for the mum’s voice award as it invaluable support for parents of premature babies. I found having a very premature baby to be quite a lonely and isolating experience as although friends and family were very kind they didn’t really understand the grief, guilt and loss that I was experiencing. To hear other people’s stories was very reassuring and raising the profile of the issues around having a premature baby e.g. Maternity leave, will be beneficial to future parents of premature babies.”

“As a grandparent to two beautiful girls who were born too soon I can identify with the message Smallest Things gives. I especially support the call for maternity leave to start when the baby leaves hospital as I witnessed how difficult it was for my daughter to go back to work and leave her two precious girls when they were still so tiny. .”

“I have only fairly recently discovered The Smallest Things. It is so wonderful being able to read the stories of other individuals who have been through the same journey as me….other individuals who write about the pain, the difficulties, sometimes heartbreak but also importantly the joy of having a preemie and experiencing life in NICU.”

smallest thingsThe award which “celebrates a mum who has spoken about her own experience and given hope to others” will be announced at a ceremony in March and I know that any one of the finalists would be very worthy winners for the simply outstanding work they all do.

For me personally it was a privilege to have been considered alongside these amazing women and I not only wish each of the finalists luck but look forward to working closely with many of them in the future in our on-going work to improve the experiences of others.

Smallest Things in 2015!

As we begin to set out our plans for 2016, make our New Year resolutions and look forward to what this year will bring, we reflect for a moment on what a year 2015 has been!

2015

Launched in June, our petition to extend statuary maternity leave has reached more than 11,000 signatures and has received national press coverage both in the papers and on the radio!

Our Facebook page has continued to be a hub for all things Smallest Things, with over three and a half thousand supporters reaching a wide audience every day – lets keep reaching thousands more in 2016!

On the blog, ‘Dads Do NICU’ was one of my personal favourites; highlighting the journeys taken by fathers and bringing to the foreground their caring role in NICU. Kangaroo cuddles and skin-to-skin with dads are some of my favourite pictures of 2015 and are worth another look!

Our most read piece, and by quite some way, continues to be ‘PTSD: The hidden cost of NICU’. If raising awareness of the lasting emotional impact of a premature birth is one of our aims, then this article is certainly helping to achieve that. Recent comments on our Facebook page, left by mothers years following premature birth, are a real eye-opener and sum up the vital need to raise awareness and the urgent need for more support for parents of premature babies. You can read their words and add your own here.

ST reception

Taking The Smallest Things to Parliament! In September Croydon North MP Steve Reed visited the Croydon University Hospital neonatal unit and is now championing the needs of premature parents in parliament. Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate for World Prematurity Day, Mr Reed raised The Smallest Things campaign to extend paid parental leave and highlight our 5 reasons why this change is needed. We were delighted when Health Minister Ben Gummer MP stated he would look into this very issue. Mr Reed also hosted a Smallest Things reception in Parliament and it was a great pleasure to meet many of you there. Mothers Ije and Sarah spoke movingly about their own experiences of premature birth and their ability to return to work once they were home. Sarah spoke moving about her twin girls Eva and Charlotte and their story remains a powerful reminder of why this campaign is so important.

The end of 2015 has ended on a high! With great surprise I was humbled to find myself alongside other amazing women long listed for the 2016 Tommy’s Baby Charity Mums Voice of the Year Award. It is a fantastic recognition of what The Smallest Things aims to do; giving parents a voice, an opportunity to share our experiences and to say loudly that the NICU journey does not end at the NICU door.

Saving perhaps the best til last! On the 30th December we had an opportunity to speak to millions of Radio 5 Live listeners as Sarah spoke about her beautiful daughters Eva and Charlotte and I explained the need to give families of babies born too soon more time through extended parental leave.

With your help and support we have made The Smallest Things matter in 2015 – thank you!

Catriona

radio 5 live

Sarah Miles and Catriona Ogilvy Radio 5 Live

 

Tommy’s Charity Awards 2016: Mum’s Voice Award

MumsVoiceAward

This afternoon I received an unexpected email with a lovely surprise… Tommy’s, the baby charity, had got in touch to tell me I have been longlisted for the 2016 Seraphine Mum’s Voice Award!

The Mum’s Voice Award celebrates mothers who have spoken out about their own experiences  and have given hope to others; and I am honoured (and truly surprised!) to be included alongside so many other remarkable and amazing voices.

The neonatal world can often feel small to parents, an isolating experience where conflicting emotions last long after NICU. Through my own story I have been raising awareness of a journey that does not end at the NICU door, highlighting the ongoing needs of parents, writing openly about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and campaigning for a change to statutory maternity leave for mothers of babies born too soon.

I have been overwhelmed by the response to my Smallest Things site, not only when mothers tell me they no longer feel alone with their thoughts of loss, grief or guilt, but by the amazing response to my petition calling on Government to extend statuary maternity leave for preemie mums, which now has over 11,000 signatures (Please do sign if you haven’t done so already!!)

Being shortlisted for the Tommy’s Mums Voice Award would be an incredible opportunity to raise the profile of The Smallest Things further, to raise awareness of life after neonatal care and to push further for the changes needed.

If you would like to help me reach the shortlist, all you need to do is send an email to mumsvoice@tommys.org, with the subject line Smallest Things, along with a couple of sentences or so on why you think I should be shortlisted.

The closing date for emails is Wednesday December 23th, so please do spare a minute or two in amongst the Christmas wrapping to help the Smallest Things reach the Tommy’s Award Ceremony in March!