Sarah Wilson and Trish Lapthorn are sisters from the small town of Waimate in the South Island. Both had a neonatal experience and wanted to give back to acknowledge the support received.
In February 2011 Sarah Wilson gave birth to twin girls Isla and Alice at 24 weeks and 3 days gestation. The twins spent over six months in the Neonatal Unit in Christchurch. Sarah and her husband were so grateful for the care that the Christchurch NICU took of Isla and Alice and always intended to say thank you in some way.
So Sarah, and her sister Trish Lapthorn, who also had premature twins while in Germany, organised a Ladies Christmas Shopping Night in Waimate. For the night, local sellers and businesses purchased a stall and people came along and, after paying an entry fee, shopped the evening away. People could also purchase raffle tickets at the door. Trish and Sarah aimed to raise $3,000 for The Neonatal Trust (Canterbury) to buy new maternity / breast feeding chairs in the NICU.
Arranging the event, finding raffle prizes to be donated, and advertising the event resulted in the town of Waimate getting right behind the cause. Neill Dick CRT Real Estate Agent sponsored the advertising and ticket printing. Raffle prizes were donated from Hanmer Springs Spa, Lake View Apartments Hanmer Springs and the whole fundraiser was supported by over 30 local businesses.
The Ladies Shopping Night was held on 5 December 2013. To say this event was a success is an understatement. Amazingly Trish and Sarah raised $7,300 (over double their aim)!!! This is a huge amount, especially from a town as small as Waimate. The picture to the right shows the cheques being handed over.
The Neonatal Trust is extremely grateful for the effort that Sarah and Trish went to when raising this money for The Neonatal Trust (Canterbury) and to the people of Waimate for getting behind the cause. The funds raised have resulted in the Trust being able to purchase six new maternity / breast feeding chairs, with money left over! The extra funds are to be used either recovering existing maternity chairs or for purchasing some additional comfortable chairs for parents – as both of these fit with the same intention of providing comfort for parents going through a neonatal journey.
We are sure you will agree with us that Sarah and Trish are Neonatal Heroes. In fact, in our eyes the entire town of Waimate are as well.
Thanks again Sarah and Trish, the chairs will be used for many years to come giving comfort to many other parents who are in the Christchurch NICU.
Update 22nd April 2014: The chairs have arrived! The picture below shows the chairs just after they have arrived – still wrapped in plastic from their journey.