Staff at National Friendly, the Bristol based insurer, have raised more than £26,500 for Southmead Hospital Charity in recognition of the care their colleague received after the death of her baby son.

National Friendly chose Southmead Hospital Charity as their charity of the year for 2019 to support the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Southmead Hospital.

The charity was nominated by Sales Support Team Leader, Louise Webber, whose two children had been treated in NICU at Southmead Hospital.

Louise said: “I feel very passionate about Southmead Hospital’s NICU and the work that they do after having two experiences with them looking after my two boys.

“Tragically, my first son Cameron was born at just under 24 weeks weighing just 1lb 1oz, he sadly passed away at just 10 hours old.

“Both him and I were looked after by the NICU staff who did everything they could for us during what was the hardest and saddest day of my life.”

Dedicated to Cameron’s memory

Louise ran the Bristol 10k in May last year with a team of 15 of her colleagues. Her son Brandon, who is now in his early 20s, also took part in the Tough Mudder challenge.

She said: “I am still blown away by how the year has gone in terms of the amount raised and also the amazing participation by my friends, family and colleagues.

“I have really enjoyed the fundraising throughout 2019, I know that my son Cameron is looking down knowing that this was also dedicated to his memory.”

Other fundraising events organised by National Friendly included bake sales, dress up days and six members of staff took part in our Amazing Abseil event 100 feet down the side of Southmead Hospital in September last year.

National Friendly’s head of sales and marketing, Wayne Carter, also did a sponsored swim-a-thon, raising £1,000.

Jonathan Long, Chief Executive Officer at National Friendly, said: “Staff are encouraged to take part in as many fundraising activities as possible throughout the year.

“Thanks to everybody’s enthusiasm and commitment we have managed to raise a fantastic sum to support the great work carried out by Southmead Hospital’s NICU.

“Babies who are born prematurely or with medical conditions, will benefit from our donation ensuring they receive the very best possible care.”

Hippodrome collection raised £12,000

National Friendly also partnered with The Bristol Hippodrome who held bucket collections throughout the pantomime season – raising more than £12,000.

Ben Phillips, Theatre Director at The Bristol Hippodrome, said: “We are delighted to have raised such an impressive sum for a fantastic charity and can’t thank our audiences enough for their generosity.

“This donation will make a real difference in supporting the vital work the unit carries out in caring for sick and premature babies.

“It is great to be able to make such a meaningful contribution and give something back to a local cause.”

Supporting life-saving work

Adrian Brown, Southmead Hospital Charity’s Corporate and Community Manager, said: “National Friendly have raised an incredible amount and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support and care that the company and its staff have shown – thank you.

“We’re always so proud of our corporate partners and it’s been a real pleasure to work with National Friendly, who went the extra mile to come up with new ways to support us and have really rallied their staff to get behind this great cause.

“The money raised will be used to support the life-saving work in NICU – funding projects that support parents through what can be a difficult journey as well as new equipment, training and technologies that give poorly and premature babies the best start in life.”

Please get in touch with the team on hello@southmeadhospitalcharity.org.uk if your company would like to become one of our corporate partners.