A LOCAL neonatal support service has launched a transport assistance program with funding from Stockland’s CARE Grant program to help families with premature babies travelling for specialist care from the City of Swan.
Helping Little Hands can now provide critical assistance when parents need it most by easing the cost of fuel with $25 vouchers after receiving a $1000 grant awarded by Stockland’s Whiteman Edge community.
Helping Little Hands co-founder Joanne Beedie said that the unexpected costs associated with premature births can be crippling and that maintaining constant contact with a newborn during this time is critical.
“We are pleased to be able to provide transport support which allows parents to visit their babies at King Edward Memorial Hospital on a daily basis,” she said.
“Families on the outskirts of the City of Swan can face a 50-kilometre commute each day and if a baby is born three months early that’s 4500 kilometres of unexpected travel with an associated cost of $500 or more.”
With 3500 babies born in WA prematurely, approximately 350 of those are born before 32 weeks.
Ms Beedie said KEMH is the only tertiary care facility in WA for babies born under 32 weeks gestation.
“By alleviating financial pressures these families can focus on caring for their premature baby and delivering daily essential supplies,” she said.
“Every moment a parent can spend with their baby helps towards going home. A cuddle from mum or dad for a premature baby means everything – love, security, comfort.”
Stockland WA general manager of residential Col Dutton said the grants program was designed to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of community groups whose valued work is an essential part of creating thriving communities.
“The people at Helping Little Hands are providing great support for those in the City of Swan and we are pleased to be able to assist them in launching the transport program with this funding,” he said.
“At Stockland, we believe there is ‘a better way to live’ and have a long-standing commitment to work with the community, building vibrant places for people to shop, work and live, now and into the future.”