Local rail company, First TransPennine Express (FTPE) and parent organisation First Group has donated nearly £2000.00 to the Lullaby Trust (formally the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths), enabling the charity to purchase three infant breathing monitors to support families in Manchester.
The donation was awarded following a request to the FTPE charity board by a member of staff working for a long standing contract partner, who has been supported by the charity following the tragic death of his daughter last year.
In total £1831 was donated to Lullaby Trust with First Group adding an additional £500 to the £1314 donated to Lullaby Trust by FTPE.
Around 300 babies die each year from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs), also known as cot death. In 2010, the North West had the highest rate of SID related deaths in the UK at a rate of 0.53 deaths per 1000[i], with Lullaby Trust urging for more local campaigning.
Lullaby Trust (formally the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) is the UK's leading baby charity working to prevent sudden infant deaths and promote health. Through funding research and communicating key information on infant health, in addition to providing support to bereaved parents, since 1991 their work has helped reduce sudden infant deaths by 70%.
The three infant breathing monitors will be used as part of Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme to support parents of new babies who have previously suffered the unexpected death of a baby, in the North West.
CONI assists parents in a number of ways, supporting them through the anxiety of having another child. This support includes home visits, symptom diaries, resuscitation training, growth and measurement charts and emotional support. There are currently a total of 97 babies enrolled on the CONI programme in the North West and Manchester.
Kate Lamb, Community and Business Improvement Manager at First TransPennine Express says, "When we were approached by our contract partner and made aware of the shocking sudden infant deaths statistics in the North West, in addition to hearing about his own personal loss, we were eager to support the campaign.
"The CONI programme provides invaluable support and we hope that the three breathing monitors, purchased with the donation from FTPE, will support families in Manchester now and in the future."
The Lullaby Trust's Chief Executive, Francine Bates OBE, said: "Although we have seen a small reduction in the number of deaths across England and Wales the figure for the North West is extremely concerning. The region has had the highest rate for cot deaths over the past seven years.
"In addition to our pledge to halve the number of unexplained infant deaths by 2020, we are committed to supporting families who have suffered the unexpected death of a baby through our CONI programme, of which specialist equipment - like that funded by FTPE, plays a vital part."
For more information on Lullaby Trust visit lullabytrust.org.uk.
[i] According to FSID Cot Deaths Facts and Figures, 2010 http://fsid.org.uk/document.doc?id=97