The Health Tree Foundation The Health Tree Foundation

A sweet treat for parents at hospital

Local people and businesses are being asked to donate ‘goodies’ in aid of parents whose babies are receiving specialist care at Scunthorpe hospital.

The call out is to help stock a snack station called NICU Nibbles on the newborn intensive care unit. The hospital’s official charity, The Health Tree Foundation, is calling for donations of snacks such as biscuits, crisps, chocolate – things people can grab in a hurry.

The idea, which has been implemented in two hospitals in Chertsey and Watford, is the brainchild of Michelle Caton Richard’s friend Debbie Thwaites. Michelle previously lived in Surrey and had her daughter Emma in 2015.

Michelle said: “Emma was born at 29 weeks so spent time in intensive care. I met Debbie who dreamed up the snack station idea. The aim is to have a small selection of snacks that parents can just grab if they need a little pick me up.”

She said she found herself dashing back and forwards to the canteen when she got the chance, which took her away from her daughter – something she wanted to keep to a minimum.

“When your baby is in intensive care your whole world revolves around what is happening with them. Finding time for yourself can be difficult, so having something you can just grab to snack on would have been so handy.”

Michelle recently moved back to Scunthorpe and has helped to launch a snack station at the town’s hospital and has called it NICU Nibbles.

She said: “I absolutely love the idea of NICU Nibbles. It is a really easy way for the local community to help support parents in their hour of need.

NICU ward sister Sarah Judd said: “When I heard about the idea I was really keen to get it started on the unit as I know it will make a real difference for parents.”

If you would like to help donate towards the NICU Nibbles appeal please contact HTF community champion Hayley Thompson on 03033 305672 or email:

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