NICU nurse braves Bath Half for Cots for Tots

With the New Year upon us, it is no surprise that our fantastic fundraisers are ready for a brand new challenge to get their teeth into! And what better way to kick-start 2018 than by signing up for one of the most popular city centre events in the UK, the Bath Half Marathon!

Dedicated NICU nurse, Lauren, is just one of the runners braving this year’s course in aid of Cots for Tots! We caught up with her recently to find out more about why she’s decided to dust off her running shoes to raise funds for the sick babies that she spends the majority of her week caring for.

How long have you worked as a nurse in NICU?

I began working in NICU last summer as a newly qualified nurse. After graduating from Plymouth University, I moved to Bristol because I knew I wanted to work in a leading regional NICU. 

What is your favourite part of the job?

 Working with families on the unit is very rewarding. I get to watch babies grow, get stronger and eventually go home and that is such an incredible feeling. Each day brings such special moments, whether I’m celebrating with parents when their baby hits a weight milestone or when their baby is able to come off a respiratory support. Every milestone a baby reaches is precious to the parents but also to us as nurses. My favourite part of the job is when we can get the baby out of the incubator to have a cuddle with their mum and dad. 

In what ways does Cots for Tots support the unit?

The money Cots for Tots raises goes directly to equipment that we as doctors and nurses use every day on the unit. Without a shadow of doubt, this equipment has a huge impact on the treatment and recovery of babies. The Cots for Tots House means parents can stay close to their babies during arguably the most emotional and stressful period of their life. Developmentally speaking, if parents can stay minutes from the unit, they are able to spend more time with their baby, increase skin to skin contact time, and breastfeed which can often lead to better outcomes.

Have you ever taken on a running challenge before?

Never! I have always been too worried I wouldn't make it and have managed to convince myself before that I don't have to time to train. But I'm being stubborn this time and will give it my best shot. The cause is so close to my heart, and I know that will give me the motivation to get me to the finish line.

Tell us about your fundraising.

My fundraising is going really well so far! A generous group of knitting volunteers have made tiny baby hats, blankets, Christmas stockings and small teddies, which I’m selling around St Michael's in exchange for donations. And of course be asking friends and family – anyone who would like to sponsor me can visit my Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lauren-johns4. I also hope to work with some societies I have connections with at the University of Bristol to arrange fundraising events.

Charity places are now sold out! However, If you have already secured a place and want to join Lauren in #TeamCotsforTots, simply contact amber@grandappeal.org.uk