Tabitha (8) raises £400 for charity for fellow premature babies

Tabitha Pritchard and fellow pupils at St Francis Primary School, Melton, during the cake sale she organised for a premature babies charity EMN-181121-171723001
Tabitha Pritchard and fellow pupils at St Francis Primary School, Melton, during the cake sale she organised for a premature babies charity EMN-181121-171723001
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An eight-year-old Melton girl, who was a premature baby, has raised £400 for a charity which supports families coping with the same issues as hers did.

Tabitha Pritchard, who attends St Francis Catholic Primary School in the town, did her fundraising for Leicestershire cause, ADAPT Prembabies, to mark World Prematurity Day.

Tabitha Pritchard, and brother Fabian, at the Leicester City FC memorial during their fundraising walk for a premature babies charity EMN-181121-171702001

Tabitha Pritchard, and brother Fabian, at the Leicester City FC memorial during their fundraising walk for a premature babies charity EMN-181121-171702001

She raised £200 in sponsorship for taking part in a three-mile walk between Leicester’s two neo-natal units, at the royal infirmary and the general hospitals.

And Tabitha, who was born six weeks early and was just 3lb 7oz when she arrived, generated the same amount again by organising a cake sale at her school.

Mum Sarah (36) said: “We are so proud of her and of her personal achievements after such a bumpy start in life.”

She added: “I’m not sure how much she understands about premature babies but she knows she was born early and that she was poorly for a few weeks as a result of that.”

The start of fundraising walk for a premature babies charity, outside the neo-natal unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary EMN-181121-171713001

The start of fundraising walk for a premature babies charity, outside the neo-natal unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary EMN-181121-171713001

Sarah says she and husband James (36) were indebted to the support given by the ADAPT Prembabies charity, with the chance to meet other parents in the same position and share advice at one of their In-B-Tweenie groups.

“The charity was amazingly helpful,” she said.

“Our health visitor from the hospital hadn’t dealt with a premature baby before and she kept saying how careful I should be with Tabitha.

“It got to the point where I refused to leave the house because I was too scared about what might happen to her.

“When she was four-months-old I managed to get myself down to one of the groups and it was like a breath of fresh air because I soon released my baby was not as delicate as I had first been told.”

Sarah, who also has sons Noah (5) and two-year-old Fabian, is now helping other parents of premature babies by running her own In-B-Tweenie group for the charity, at St Peter’s Parish Hall, in Welby Lane, every Wednesday, from 10am until 12, with new members welcome.

The Leicester fundraising walk the Pritchards took part in also involved other parents, and their relatives, who have benefited from the charity’s services.

As well as individual families raising their own money, supporters collected another £400 in buckets and tins along the route.

One generous gentleman, who saw the walkers making their way along Victoria Park Road, stopped his car and, without saying anything, ran over and put a sizeable donation into one of the collection buckets.

Another Melton mum of a premature baby is raising money for the ADAPT Prembabies charity on Saturday December 1, at the Christmas Fair at the town’s livestock market.

Emma Barlow will be selling Christmas crafts knitted by her mother from a stall at the event, as well as running a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.

Emma said: “I had my son, Flynn, early on August 13, 2014, at 27 weeks, and weighing just 2lb 4oz.

“After spending months in the Leicester Royal Infirmary and all the great support from the ADAPT charity, Flynn finally came home on his due date of November 11, 2014.

“So as a way of saying thank you for all thir kindness and support, myself and my family wanted to raise some money for them as it is run purely on donations.”

Email Emma Barlow at barlolee@sky.com or call her on 07834 035997 if you would like to donate a prize for her raffle.

Go online at www.prembabies.co.uk to find out more about ADAPT Prembabies or to make a donation.