A FUND-RAISING mum who ‘passionately’ supports a new Warwickshire maternity unit is calling on fellow parents to play their part.
Nikki Francis gave birth to both of her children at Warwick Hospital, and says she cannot wait for its new Midwife-Led Unit (MLU) – which will welcome expectant parents from as far afield as Rugby and Redditch – to open early next year.
The Leamington mum – who runs support group ‘Mum Knows Best’ and website ‘Take it from Mummy’ – has been fund-raising tirelessly for the hospital’s maternity services for the past four years.
She raised more than £5,000 which funded two chairs enabling new dads to stay overnight on the hospital Swan Ward.
But she has now turned her focus to the new MLU and believes it will make a huge difference.
She told the Observer: “I was low risk with both my children and had two amazing water births at Warwick. I know that had there been a Midwife-Led Unit available at the time I would have been able to use it.
“After my first water birth I was really keen to have another but was also worried that it might not be available as there’s currently only one birthing pool at the hospital.
“If there had been the MLU with more pools available I know I wouldn’t have been as anxious about not having the birth I planned and it would have made for an even more positive and calm birthing experience for us.
“I love everything about the planned new unit, especially the fact that it will provide more choice for local mums-to-be.”
The hospital is working to raise £200,000 through its Birth and Babies appeal which will enhance the unit with birthing pools and special baby cribs.
And now Nikki – who has organised a number of fund-raising events – is calling on residents and parents to help the hospital reach their target.
She said: “I know what a difference mums make when they come together to support each other and that’s why I’m so excited to be involved in this appeal.
“The majority of us have had babies at Warwick or will have in the future, so to know that we can play a part in helping to provide an even better maternity service for future mummies and daddies at Warwick is a really great feeling.”
Call the fund-raising department on 01926 495 321 or email [email protected] to find out more about supporting the appeal.
*A MARKET which sells nearly-new baby and children’s items is raising money for Warwick Hospital’s Birth and Babies Appeal.
The mum2mum market at Chase Meadow Community Centre will be held on Sunday July 2 between 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
Volunteers from South Warwickshire Foundation Trust – which runs Warwick Hospital – will sell refreshments at the market and a raffle will also be held.
Entry is £2 and entry is free for children and to everyone after 4pm.
Two for one entry is available from the website and free goody bags will be given to the first 100 attendees on the day.
Visit www.mum2mummarket.co.uk to book or find out more.