The year of 2022 was once again a big year. For Miracle Babies Foundation this was a year of slow recovery, rebuilding and adapting once again, back to ‘normal’ before the COVID pandemic disrupted life as we knew it.
With so many families separated, facing unbearable isolation during an already traumatic time, the ongoing need for our services was clear, and the importance on reaching as many families as we could, despite the challenges thrown our way, was heightened.
Restrictions within hospitals lasting 2 years (and some still ongoing), meant that support was delivered online and priority shifted to increasing use of our 24-Hour Family Support Line (NurtureLine). Our online Nurture Information Hub was launched via the Miracle Babies website, which is today reaching more than 100,000 people annually.
In the face of an unexpected experience like the birth of a premature or sick baby, knowing where to turn is overwhelming. Sadly, the COVID pandemic and having face-to-face services in the hospital suspended for such a long time, significantly impacted awareness of Miracle Babies support services since 2019.
But in 2022, things started to change for the better. Our footprint continues to grow with increasing awareness of our services continuing to be a priority.
In 2022 alone….
In-hospital support services (NurtureTime) and after discharge play and support groups (NurtureGroup) resumed in NSW, QLD, WA, SA and VIC, and new services were also launched.
Families like Laura’s are receiving support throughout their entire journey once again face-to-face – in hospital, and for years beyond after they are discharged home
Baby Laura was born in October 2020 at just 25 weeks
“I will be forever grateful for the work of Miracle Babies. For Laura’s first birthday we set up a fundraiser and I asked for donations instead of gifts. I could do this for Laura’s birthday every year forever and never truly be able to show my appreciation for the work of Megan, Tina and everyone at Miracle Babies. It takes a village to raise a child. Megan and Tina are in our village.
I first heard about the Miracle Babies Foundation when Laura was in hospital. Megan was running NurtureTime sessions each fortnight at Fiona Stanley. I’m so glad I went. I found it difficult to talk to family and friends about what was happening, but so easy to talk to someone who had been in my situation and truly understood. It was so nice to be able to connect with someone in hospital, especially as we never had any family visitors as the WA border was closed for Laura’s entire hospital stay.
Megan told me about NurtureGroup and we have been attending the Willetton Nurture Group since February 2021. Laura loves it and it is a safe space for me. Laura went through a lot of interventions in her first year of life, we regularly saw a dietician, speech therapist and physiotherapist; a neonatologist from time to time, and the child health nurse for weigh-ins frequently. Many of the families at Nurture Group have also been through similar processes and know that the journey through prematurity doesn’t end when your baby is discharged from hospital.
I have made so many calls to the NurtureLine, whenever I feel like I need to talk to someone. This is an amazing service of phone counsellors who themselves are all parents of babies born premature or sick.'
Many hands made light work…
A total of 95 people across Australia volunteered their time throughout the year, allowing the Foundation to expand reach of its vital services and resources and to deliver critical fundraising and awareness events. This helps to continue to grow our presence within the community and enable increased funding to help more families nationally.
Corporate Partners, Grants and the Community played a huge role in allowing us to continue to relaunch suspended services following the impact of COVID restrictions, and to expand services to new areas.
We say thank you to our community heroes – the groups, businesses, individuals and clubs that contribute in many ways and make an incredible difference.
This year, ongoing donations from our dedicated Regular Givers and via Workplace Giving (pre-tax payroll giving) continued to climb, and provided funding to support 190 of the 12,475 families supported in 2022.
“Miracle Babies is grateful for another year of wonderful support from our corporate and community partners. Through the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities Program, “building stronger, more vibrant communities”, we were able to purchase a vehicle for our NurtureProgram Support Workers to allow them to visit hospitals more easily around Sydney, where they provide crucial services. Clubs and Foundations continued to provide invaluable support in granting funds for NurtureTime and NurtureGroup Programs, as well as vital resources. We also thank Coca Cola Australia Foundation for funding for much needed furniture and resources for The Royal Women’s Hospital at Randwick. In addition we officially welcomed MeetMagic as official Corporate Partner, and thank the support of our ongoing partners, Natalis, Tommee Tippee, WaterWipes, BabyLove and Infloran who this year once again helped to ensure that less families go through this challenging experience alone.”
As events and community events continue to return, we would like to say a BIG thank you to those that raised much needed awareness and funds for Miracle Babies in their local area and at major events around the country.