Many babies have celebrated their first Christmas due to the fabulous support available from TinyLife, Northern Ireland’s only premature baby charity. Now TinyLife are holding a jumbo Santa event with a difference, to raise vital funds to help future premature babies celebrate their first Christmases’.
A two-centre bumper festive event has been planned, which includes a Snowstorm Christmas Colour Run in Lurgan Park on Sunday 10 December and a train ride to visit Santa in his wooded-cabin at Peatlands Park (Exit 13 M1 at Loughgall). 9/10 and 16/17 December. Both events have the same cover charge £10 Adult and £5 child.
The festive experience brings something for everyone of all ages, as the colour run offers up a festive drenching by Santa’s elves, a visit to the man in red, snow glasses for every participant and a medal for all finishers; while the Peatlands event package has reserved a special train service to chug along the Park’s narrow-gauge railway to see Santa, which includes a gift, a free make and take craft and refreshments as part of the ticket price.
A bundle-booking system is available if both events are reserved. The Lurgan Park Colour Run remains at full price, but for every ticket purchased for the run (adult/child matched) tickets for the Peatlands event will be eligible for a 10% refund.
For visitors preferring to make the takeaway Christmas craft, a pay on the day charge of £4 is applicable. A timed ticketing system is in place to keep Santa’s nerves intact! Visitors are asked to book where possible online and to arrive 15 minutes before the visit.
Peatlands Park Warden, Martin Hampton said, “Our train is always a huge draw throughout the year bringing visitors face to face with nature. Christmas is a wonderful time for children and families, so it is especially poignant that we can take this opportunity to support the work of such a worthwhile charity, who help transform lives every day. As our train turns into the magical Peatlands Santa Express, we would encourage visitors to hop aboard and escape to the great outdoors while supporting TinyLife – a double feel-good factor!”
Over 1900 babies are born too soon (six babies every day), too small or too sick in Northern Ireland. Some arrive as early as 24 weeks, weighing as little as 1lb/454 grams, the same weight as half a bag of sugar! At this understandably very stressful time for parents, TinyLife is there to provide practical advice, emotional support and to give a helping hand to families who have a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit, with their network of Family Support Officers in every neonatal unit across Northern Ireland, ensuring parents receive optimum support in hospital, at home and within the community, all ably supported by a dedicated team of active volunteers.
Nicola Orlick from Newmills, County Tyrone, is mum to 5-year-old Jacob and more recently gave birth to twins, Emma and Matthew, born on 21 August 2015, at 4lb 10 and 5lb 1oz respectively said, “TinyLife was the only charity that could help me. I had a really good job as a senior manager before the twins were. My husband works 12-hour shifts which include weekends, so although we were delighted with the news that we were expecting twins, the reality of the situation soon hit home.”
“With family members working throughout the day, I tried various charities to find a volunteer but to no avail. They I found out about TinyLife and my world changed. Janice my local TinyLife Support Officer advised me on the many practicalities, including much-needed financial advice as having given up my job I realised that reduced income was yet another pressure I had to deal with.”
“Former nurse, TinyLife Family Support volunteer, Sylvia is without hesitation on my part, is my rock. From the day and hour, she stepped through the front door, she has become not just a volunteer but family. My twins know her as aunty Sylvia. I was at my wits’ end, depressed, lonely and at one point, fearing for my sanity, too frightened and ashamed to reach out for help. For other families in this situation, my advice is to contact TinyLife today. Don’t wait a second longer. Help is at hand. I haven’t looked back since. TinyLife is a local charity for local people. All fundraising money goes directly back to help premature babies and their families. That’s why I’m supporting the Peatlands Park Santa visit event.”
For more information on fundraising, volunteering or this and forthcoming events, visit tinylife.org.uk, buy tickets at buytickets.at/tinylife or connect on Facebook and Twitter.