Giving much-needed comfort to newborn babies in intensive care

Scientists believe that a baby’s ability to smell their parents is one of the most important steps in learning to recognise them.

But this can be difficult if the newborn baby has to go into the intensive care unit, and their mums and dads can’t hold them straight after birth.

To make up for this, the charity Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) donates small cloth comforters, otherwise called Miniboos, which can give newborns a familiar, comforting scent by which to recognise their parents and bond with them.

For Giving Tuesday, the organisation asked its supporters to help raise just under £500 which would be used to fund 27 new Miniboo packs – they managed to double their target, raising just over £1,100.

So what did the charity do to achieve this result?

  • Collected photos from parents whose children had a Miniboo and shared those with supporters. 
  • Created a small 16-second video of one of the play nurses talking about the miniboos and how invaluable they are.
  • Shared information about the Miniboo’s on social media as early as 10 days ahead of Giving Tuesday without a call to action.
  • On the day, they scheduled in four social media posts to keep the momentum going.
  • Tagged their partners in the posts to encouraged them to share to their networks and attract more engagement.
  • Kept the target achievable.

Speaking about the importance of their appeal, Community and Volunteer Fundraiser Shannon Hands said: “Parents get comfort from knowing that there’s a little bit of them with their baby at all times, even though they can’t be with their baby.

“In Intensive Care Units for newborns, it isn’t a 24-hour visiting policy so mums and dads unfortunately can’t stay. So knowing that there’s a little bit of them there, even a spray of perfume on the Miniboo, you can see the children settle down straight away.”

She added: “We couldn’t be more proud of the result. By around 10am we’d already reached £270 which was amazing!”

Already planning next year, she said: “Next year, we know we could probably go a bit higher with our target, knowing how amazing this year was.

“We’re really looking forward to coming up with something bigger and better for next year.”

Social media posts for Giving Tuesday: