Cramlington family is inspiration for donation to baby charity

A tunnel operator has made a donation to a hospital unit after being inspired by a family from Cramlington.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 8:09 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th May 2018, 3:54 pm
Shaun Simmons, business support officer at TT2 Limited, and Louise Carroll, community and events fundraiser at The Tiny Lives Trust, with the Imrie family, Mattie, Laura, (centre) Owen and Orla-Mae.

TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has donated £1,000 from its Tyne Tunnels Community Fund to The Tiny Lives Trust, which operates out of Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

TT2 made the decision as one of its employees Mattie Imrie used the charity’s services with both his son Owen, nine, and his daughter Orla-Mae, seven.

Owen was born at 27 weeks and weighed 2.13 1/2lbs, and Orla-Mae was born at 29 weeks and weighed 2.15lbs.

The Tiny Lives Trust supports the neonatal unit at the RVI, providing training for staff, a social worker to talk to parents, and supporting those with children staying in the unit with travel and accommodation.

Shaun Simmons, business support officer at TT2, said: “When Mattie approached us to suggest that we make a donation to The Tiny Lives Trust, we thought it was a great idea.

“We all know Mattie and his fiancé Laura, and we know how much support the charity gave to them when their children were born. It does fantastic work.”

Mattie, a tunnels officer, said: “When you have a child, or two children, who need to stay for a while in the hospital, it’s incredibly difficult.

“The Tiny Lives Trust offered Laura and I so much support at a very stressful time so when we were asked for suggestions for the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund, I thought it was a great opportunity to give something back.”

Louise Carroll, community and events fundraiser at The Tiny Lives Trust, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund for the generous donation of £1,000.

“As an independent charity, we rely on donations in order to keep working with the families of premature babies, and older babies who are experiencing difficulties.

“We will be using the money to buy mini boos for the unit. These are comfort blankets that come in two parts, one half for the parents and one half for baby. They each keep them so their scent is transferred on to the blanket, and then they swap so that they can bond even when the baby needs to spend the majority of time in an incubator.

“This can also help the parents when they are not able to hold their baby, but can still feel close to them.”

Find out more about The Tiny Lives Trust by visiting