Minster thanksgiving service for York Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit

York Press: Ellen Willey, who set up the Speciall Care Baby Unit 30 years ago Ellen Willey, who set up the Speciall Care Baby Unit 30 years ago

The founder of a support group for parents whose babies need special care at York Hospital has spoken of her pride and astonishment that the service has lasted 30 years.

Pensioner Ellen Willey, from Fulford, set up the charity while working as a ward sister at York Hospital in 1984.

The Special Care Support Group is celebrating reaching its milestone 30th year with a thanksgiving service at York Minster on Sunday .

Mrs Willey, now retired, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the support group has kept going all these years.

"I am very proud of all the parents and staff for keeping it going so long. It's fantastic.

"A lot of other support groups have folded but York has kept going and it is all down to the commitment of those involved."

Mrs Willey had the idea when a parent who had sadly lost her baby kept ringing her up with questions the nurse was unable to answer.

She continued: "I thought I needed help so I spoke to other parents and that is how it all started - with six mothers from different walks of life.

"Their babies were okay but some of them were still on the unit. It just flourished from there."

The charity provides relief, care and treatment for premature and sick new born babies.

Parents and staff work together to give a better start in life to the tiny or sick babies and their families who are being treated and cared for on the unit.

Sister Ann Elliott said: “While staff on the unit do their utmost to provide empathy to all parents, some parents find it very beneficial to speak and exchange concerns and anxieties with others who have had a similar experience.”

The group can provide small clothes for babies when they are discharged.

Debbie Miles, from the support group, said: “We’d like to thank our army of knitters, crocheters and quilters who keep us going with their fabulous creations.

"And of course the people of York and the surrounding area who have been, and continue to be, very generous with fundraising for the unit."

The service on Sunday is at 4pm, and is open to everyone particularly those who have been involved with the support group over the last 30 years, and anyone who was, or has had a baby on the unit during that time.

Comments (5)

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12:39pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Knive+++ says...

I'm confused, is this piece about the Special Care Baby Unit at the hospital or the Special Care Support Group?
I'm confused, is this piece about the Special Care Baby Unit at the hospital or the Special Care Support Group? Knive+++
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Willy Eckerslike says...

"the founder of the support group"
"the support group is celebrating 30 years"
"Debbie Miles from the support group"

Not that confusing if you can read, this is a special place run by special people.
"the founder of the support group" "the support group is celebrating 30 years" "Debbie Miles from the support group" Not that confusing if you can read, this is a special place run by special people. Willy Eckerslike
  • Score: 1

7:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Digeorge says...

Having lost a child aged 8 at that hospital and the trauma that they put us through and continue to do so, it is a shame that the same degree of empathy and sympathy doesn't extend to 'children'. It is very different to losing a baby to that of a living child.

I would also hate to loose a child or a baby under the current law whether it would be civil or criminal or medical negligence.

I guess there is someone with sympathy in that unit after all.
Having lost a child aged 8 at that hospital and the trauma that they put us through and continue to do so, it is a shame that the same degree of empathy and sympathy doesn't extend to 'children'. It is very different to losing a baby to that of a living child. I would also hate to loose a child or a baby under the current law whether it would be civil or criminal or medical negligence. I guess there is someone with sympathy in that unit after all. Digeorge
  • Score: 1

8:50pm Thu 19 Jun 14

ambrosia1 says...

The service at York Minster this Sunday (22nd) is to celebrate the York Special Care Support Group's 30th Anniversary. The service is at 4pm and everyone who has been involved with the support group in any way and families who have been on the special care baby unit are all invited to come along. The service is Evensong with members of the support group and staff from the unit taking part.
The service at York Minster this Sunday (22nd) is to celebrate the York Special Care Support Group's 30th Anniversary. The service is at 4pm and everyone who has been involved with the support group in any way and families who have been on the special care baby unit are all invited to come along. The service is Evensong with members of the support group and staff from the unit taking part. ambrosia1
  • Score: 0

7:40am Fri 20 Jun 14

Digeorge says...

Unfortunately my son was not born at York District Hospital but was born in Scarborough Hospital and was in Special Care for Baby Unit/Killingbeck Hospital. for over six weeks. There is no such support for us.

I have actually come to terms with my son's death but not what went on and does go on after the death of a child/baby - didn't need that. Thing is that a things at YDH come back to haunt you when you least expect it when you are ill, I will be glad to shift my care entirely from the place.
Unfortunately my son was not born at York District Hospital but was born in Scarborough Hospital and was in Special Care for Baby Unit/Killingbeck Hospital. for over six weeks. There is no such support for us. I have actually come to terms with my son's death but not what went on and does go on after the death of a child/baby - didn't need that. Thing is that a things at YDH come back to haunt you when you least expect it when you are ill, I will be glad to shift my care entirely from the place. Digeorge
  • Score: 1

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