Little splashers help to save babies’ lives

Katelin Ross dressed as Snow White on sponsored swim.
Katelin Ross dressed as Snow White on sponsored swim.

Hundreds of tots made a splash on a swim which raised £12,500 for research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.

Fancy-dressed swimmers, aged 12 weeks to four years, including Katelin Ross from Rainworth (pictured), swam a width at Portland College, Sutton Court and Every Sensations hydrotherapy pools. They all attend Water Babies classes and the money will go to Tommy’s.

Marie Smith, of Water Babies Notts and Derbys, said: “Water Babies has been a proud partner of the Tommy’s Splashathon since 2006 and we are over the moon to have raised so much this year.”

This will go towards our national target of £1 million to help thousands of families.“The enthusiasm and passion shown by all our little splashers and their families has been overwhelming and we’d like to say a really big thank you to all those who took part and also those who donated. Tommy’s is obviously a charity close to many parents’ hearts.”

Splashathon is a really fun, happy experience for all involved, with babies less than 4 years old fundraising to save other babies’ lives. As this is usually the first fundraising event the little ones have ever done, it’s always pretty special. At the Water Babies pools in Ashfield babies and toddlers dressed up as pirates or princesses in their last class of term to complete a series of splashy swimming challenges.

But there’s an important reason behind it too. Every year, one in four women lose a baby during pregnancy or birth. Water Babies is committed to supporting Tommy’s in reducing this unacceptable statistic that devastates families up and down the country. So every parent, carer, child and baby that has taken part will be helping other babies who aren’t as lucky.

Jane Brewin, CEO at Tommy’s, commented: “We are overwhelmed by the number of children who got dressed up and took part in the campaign this year and by the generosity of those who have supported by donating to the cause.

“It really will make a difference and help us to help more families achieve their dream of having a healthy, happy baby.”

Tommy’s surveyed 500 new mothers across the UK ahead of the 2017 Splashathon and over half (55 per cent) of new mothers felt isolated in their day to day life. The findings also revealed that 59 per cent of women experience feelings of loneliness on a daily basis during the first three years of motherhood, whilst 38 per cent are worried about developing mental health issues such as depression.

Of the mothers who said they felt lonely, 52 per cent said they spent a disproportionate amount of time alone with their child. One in five mothers (20 per cent) said they spent over 12 hours alone with their children on weekends.

The research by Tommy’s went on to show that whilst three quarters (79 per cent) of new mothers said they received post-natal support from family members, over a quarter (27 per cent) said that social physical activity, such as swimming or baby yoga, gave them the most support in terms of improving their own mental wellbeing (65 per cent), and reducing feelings of isolation, depression and loneliness (74 per cent).

Marie Smith, who brought Water Babies classes to Mansfield 12 years ago, said, “Swimming not only teaches vital life skills in the water, but it can also provide a vital sense of community for new mums.

“The Splashathon campaign is a perfect chance for us, and the parents who attend, to support women and families who may have had difficult and devastating experiences in pregnancy or childbirth. Every pound raised will help to save babies’ lives.”

For more information about baby swimming classes, contact Marie on 01636 815567. To donate to the Tommy’s Splashathon, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/splashathon2017