Why volunteering is a great New Year’s resolution
If your list of New Year’s resolutions includes giving back and making a change then consider becoming a NeoHero with the Ickle Pickles Children’s Charity.
Instead of a long list of exercising more, learning a new skill and spending more time with family and friends, you can combine all those goals into one: make your resolution to volunteer more in 2024.
The Ickle Pickles Children’s Charity offers a unique opportunity to help vulnerable babies at a uniquely crucial time in their lives. With over 90,000 babies born sick or prematurely in the UK every year, Ickle Pickles is the only charity that helps hospitals raise money to buy essential neonatal equipment.
Help babies like Austin
Premature baby Austin was born weighing just 710 grams at 28 weeks gestation. Austin spent a total of 79 days in neonatal intensive care (NICU) and came home the day before his due date. Austin's NICU journey, like many others, was full of ups and downs. Additionally, COVID changed everything for his parents during this difficult time.
Because of COVID restrictions, there were no NICU support groups, no parents chatting or leaning on each other for support or friendships built. As the charity recovers from the pandemic’s impact, Ickle Pickles is looking for volunteers to re-establish support groups and help parents through their neonatal journey.
How you can help
Try something new and encourage others to volunteer as a NeoHero. NeoHeroes typically know children who have been treated in a neonatal unit and are passionate about positively impacting their local neonatal unit. You could take on a charity challenge, help out at a bake sale or NICU support coffee morning, or let people know how fantastic your local neonatal unit is.
Today, Ickle Pickle Austin is a happy, healthy, albeit slightly small 3.5-year-old and most people comment that they would not know he was born premature! His mum Becky now works with Ickle Pickles to give every newborn a chance and helps families affected by premature birth.
Why Ickle Pickles?
Becky works collaboratively with her local neonatal units that treated Austin to curate a wishlist of the most urgently needed equipment. An Ickle Pickles Pledge powers Ickle Pickles’ fundraising efforts. Under the pledge, Ickle Pickles commits to work in partnership with neonatal units and NeoHeroes, raising funds to buy equipment to treat babies needing intensive and special care. Throughout 2024, the charity aims to expand its pledge partnerships across the country.
Ickle Pickles partnered with the Early Years Alliance
The Early Years Alliance has partnered with Ickle Pickles to help recruit more volunteers and produced the Early Adventures Baby and Toddler Toolkit to support you in recruiting and working with volunteers. The toolkit highlights areas to consider, shares supporting documents, and provides information to help and advise - aimed at Baby and Toddler groups but also providing an opportunity for you to reflect on how you value and develop volunteers – for example, through peer support as well as access to training and networking events.
Ickle Pickles has received a lot of support in 2023 and has seen communities, from early years practitioners to neonatal staff and parents come together to help premature and sick babies.
Unlike other New Year’s resolutions, volunteering can be something you enjoy doing, changing lives and giving a real sense of purpose.
Looking ahead to 2024, there are many Ickle Pickles events coming up, such as the charity’s annual black-tie Incubator Ball in London, family-friendly Inflatable Obstacle courses and various running events. From welcoming guests to tidying up afterwards and everything in between, friendly volunteers make a huge difference to the overall success of an event. Ickle Pickles’ events and fundraising ideas are great fun. If you can provide peer-to-peer support, organise or fundraise, then get in touch today, you could raise vital funds for your neonatal unit.
Email [email protected] and find out more.