Bumper first year for baby book scheme

A book scheme has seen more than 150 gift packs handed to families with newborns in a bid to encourage them to read and sing to their babies.

The joint initiative called making big memories with little babies sees books given to parents whose baby is admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Scunthorpe hospital.

Babies admitted to NICU receive a gift pack containing a book and a singalong nursery rhyme CD. It aims to encourage parents to read and sing to their babies while they are on the ward as this plays a vital part in a child’s early development.

The scheme is a joint initiative between Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity, The Health Tree Foundation (HTF), North Lincolnshire Council and the North Lincolnshire Children’s Literacy Trust.

Sara Judd, ward sister on NICU, said: “It can be quite stressful for parents when their baby is on the unit. Encouraging them to talk to them can help develop a closeness and bond. When reading from a book parents are able to feel more in control of their situation and surroundings and it helps to promote confidence in future reading.”

Feedback about the scheme shows that 86 per cent of people who received the pack thought that it was an excellent idea, with 72 per cent saying it helped them have special one-to-one time with their baby.

Vice-Chair of the North Lincolnshire Children’s Literacy Trust, Sandra Simmons, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to HTF and everyone who has helped make the first year a success. A special thanks to the hospital’s League of Friends who kindly donated £3,000 to help secure the funding for the first trial period.”

HTF community champion, Hayley Thompson, said: “It is great to see the results from the first year’s gifting and knowing it is making a difference to families is wonderful. We are looking forward to continuing the scheme with the council.”

If you would like to hear more about this scheme please contact Sandra Simmons on 01724 296668 or email: childrensliteracy@northlincs.gov.uk

You can follow the progress of the neonatal book gifting project via the North Lincolnshire Children’s Literacy Trust Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NLincsLitTrust/

If you are a journalist and require further information contact the communications and marketing team on 03033 302528 or via nlg-tr.comms@nhs.net