Southmead Hospital Charity is proud to have been named National Friendly’s Charity of the Year for 2019.

The financial services company, based in Bristol, have chosen the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit fund to support during the year with a series of fundraising and sponsored events.

The charity was chosen by National Friendly’s staff after the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility committee asked every member of staff to nominate a new charity of the year for 2019.

Each member of staff who nominated a charity, had to provide background information regarding what the charity does and why it resonates so much with them personally.

In total, there were five charities put forward and a poll was sent out to all staff members, who then had to vote for one cause to be the new charity of the year.

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

Louise, who is planning on running the Bristol 10k and to do a swimathon, said: “My son Cameron, was born weighing 1lb1Oz and my second son Brandon, was born weighing 3lb 9oz.

“The unit treated me like a queen, both times I was there with my sons. They supported me through the unfortunate loss of my first son and spent two months looking after my second son.

“I visit the unit every year on Cameron’s birthday and spend time in the room dedicated to parents like me.

“Each year, I look through the books and it’s amazing to see over the years how the loss of babies has declined. I know that this is to do with research/technology being advanced, but also it is due to the charity and the staff for all of the extras that they do to give these babies the very best chance of a start in life.

“I would love for National Friendly to really get behind this charity in 2019 and give even more local families the great care that I and my sons had.”

One of the key NICU ptojects supported by the charity is a flat for parents of babies on the unit to stay at so they can be close to the hospital if they live outside of Bristol.

Adrian Brown, Southmead Hospital Charity’s Corporate and Community Manager, said: “Having the support of an organisation like National Friendly is a huge boost to the charity and we are really grateful to be chosen as their charity of the year – thank you Louise for putting us forward.

“We are really looking forward to working with National Friendly and we know their employees already have some exciting fundraising plans.”

Please get in touch with the team on if your company would like to become one of our charity of the year or corporate partners.