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Service at York Minster celebrates 30 years for SCBU Support Group

A thanksgiving service will take place in York Minster to celebrate 30 years of the Special Care Support Group at York Hospital.

The service, which takes place on Sunday 22 June at 4pm, is open to everyone particularly those who have been involved with the support group over the last 30 years, and anyone who was, or has had a baby on the unit during that time.

The Special Care Support Group is a registered charity formed in 1984 by Ellen Willey, now retired, who was the ward sister on the Special Care Baby Unit at the time. The group was formed to provide relief, care and treatment for premature and sick new born babies in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at York Hospital. The members of the support group are parents and staff from the unit who work together to give a better start in life to the tiny or sick babies and their families who are being treated and cared for on the unit.

Sister Ann Elliott from SCBU said: "The group provides practical and emotional support for parents who often go through a great deal of stress and anxiety when they have a sick baby on the unit, or when their baby is born prematurely. While staff on the unit do their utmost to provide empathy to all parents, some parents find it very beneficial to speak and exchange concerns and anxieties with others who have had a similar experience.

"The group helps by providing specialised medical or surgical equipment and over the years has improved amenities and facilities for the parents who often spend may hours at the unit. This support makes a world of different to parents at such a challenging time."

On a practical level the support group can provide small clothes for babies when they are discharged from hospital if parents need them. The clothes are either bought by the support group or kindly donated by parents who have had babies on the unit.

Debbie Miles from the support group said: "We’d like to thank our army of knitters, crocheters and quilters who keep us going with their fabulous creations. And of course the people of York and the surrounding area who have been, and continue to be, very generous with fundraising for the unit. These funds enable the charity to help purchase extra and new equipment for the unit. They also sponsor staff members to undertake courses to update and train in such a highly specialised field. The group and everyone on the unit remain very grateful to all those who fundraise for SCBU."

18 June 2014

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