Home > Other Voluntary Work > Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

Volunteering to Help Premature Babies

By: Leigh Sexton - Updated: 20 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
Volunteering Craft Premature Babies

The life of a premature baby is fragile and stressed, and the family of such a baby are likely to also be extremely stressed and anxious. Physically, mentally and emotionally, the tiny babies and those who love them need all the help they can get. Fortunately there are a whole host of ways that you can volunteer to help.

Craft Volunteering

A large number of UK charities and organisations offer the opportunity to sew, knit or crochet clothing and other items needed to care for premie babies. Items needed range from premature clothes and blankets through to tiny burial outfits to give those little ones who don’t survive a suitable and loving garment in which to be seen for the last time by their grieving relatives.

The items are made for the charity and then collected to be laundered so that they are free of all infection and irritation before being taken to special care baby units.

This opportunity requires you to have the necessary craft skills, to be able to work to a pattern and to either take your items to a depot or post them to an agreed address for onward transmission.

Courier Volunteering

Several motorcycle groups and charities have volunteer roles, transporting urgently needed donor breast milk, and blood, to neonatal units where the milk is given to premature babies to boost their immune systems and the blood provides transfusions for mothers who have complications resulting from their labour.

In rural areas in particular, the regular provision of donated breast milk can make a huge difference to a baby’s survival by reducing the risk of infection. It gives the tiny babies optimum nutrition as well as reducing their vulnerability to infections and viruses. A mother who isn’t producing milk may be very stressed about her baby’s health and that can, in turn, make her ill, so ensuring that premies get good milk helps not just the infant but his or her immediate family to feel that the best possible care is being taken of the little one.

Some mothers who lose their own babies go on producing milk by breast pump and donating it to others as part of the process of coming to terms with their grief, so the provision of courier services may be helping parents who have lost a baby just as much as parents who are struggling with the complex and demanding medical routines of a neo-natal unit.

This opportunity to volunteer requires a car or, more often, a motorcycle, a full clean licence, a good knowledge of your local area and the willingness to get up and go at any hour of the day or night. Training and support and special clothing, and packaging for the medical supplies, are provided by several charities to do this work.

Support Group Volunteering

Over 80,000 babies are born too soon, too small or ill in the UK every year. Local family support groups help parents cope with the stress of having a baby in a neo-natal unit or recently returned home from one. They also support parents who have lost a premature baby and they work with wider family such as other children and grandparents who often struggle to cope with their feelings and don’t know how to act for the best around a premature baby.

This opportunity requires you to pass a Criminal Records Bureau check, to be or have been a parent (not necessarily of a premature baby) and to be willing to work with your local community. Training and support are provided by several charities to do this work.

Premature Baby Cuddle Scheme

Studies showing the benefits of human physical contact on newborn babies has prompted some neo natal units to recruit volunteer "baby cuddlers". While parents are generally around to provide this vital 'service' - there are times when some respite is needed. Occasionally too, a parent will be unable to cuddle a newborn because they are unwell themselves, this is where volunteer cuddlers come in. Their role is simply to hold an unhappy baby, providing a human touch and perhaps singing or talking gently to reassure them.

Where Can I Find a Cuddle Programme?

We don't have a list of cuddle programmes in the UK, so please contact your nearest premature baby unit, or NHS trust to find out more.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I'm going to retire soon and would love to work with babies. Im a very maternal person I waited 16 years for my beautiful daughter and understand the heartache of longing for a baby.
Mags - 20-Oct-20 @ 4:59 PM
I would like to volunteer as baby cuddle scheme is there an application process to go through thanks.
Campus - 6-Oct-20 @ 12:48 PM
Im thinking of retiring soon but absolutely love babies and would love to do some voluntary work near me I live in Bawtry near Doncaster. I've always been a very maternal person I have one daughter that I waited 16 years for so know the heartache that goes with waiting and longing for a baby. Would love to find out more if you can let me know please? Many thanks Maggie
Maggie - 27-Sep-20 @ 9:42 PM
Hi, i am really interested in this ? Is this something that is available in uk? I am Peterborough based and have 3 girls from 21-12 and I would love to help if possible
Hayley - 24-Sep-20 @ 8:37 PM
Hello, I have over 16 years childcare experience from working in a private nursery to working as a nanny. I also have my own daughter. I would very much like to volunteer to help with premature babies so any info you could give to me that be great. Thanks so much Mirika.
MiMi - 10-Sep-20 @ 7:12 PM
I would love more information about this programme in London and Surrey. Many thanks
Sab - 30-Aug-20 @ 7:46 PM
Hi, I live in Islington. I would like to cuddle babies at the hospitals near me or central London. Thank you
Dom - 19-Aug-20 @ 10:22 PM
My babies were born at 27 weeks 4 months earlier in Guy's Hospital. They will be twenty this year. I would like to volunteer for any charity for premature babies.I would like to share my story to other young mothers.
Theresa - 12-Jul-20 @ 1:41 PM
I have always loved babies, smaller the better to cuddle in my eyes. Being the family babysitter gave me a lot of cuddles to give. But also it’s a chance to help the NHS staff and most importantly comfort that little human being who needs it most. Unfortunately biology is against me and my husband so haven’t had the chance as of yet but I’m hoping our time will come. I would love nothing more than to be a comfort to them babies as they would be to me. If there are any opportunities I’d be most grateful. I live inBirmingham and work full time but would be happy to assist week nights and weekends.
JoJo - 8-Jul-20 @ 7:47 PM
I am very interested in finding more information about baby cuddling scheme. I have experienced having a baby in neo natal and know how important it is for them to have human contact. I shall look forward to hear from you.
Ria - 23-Jun-20 @ 10:37 PM
Hello I’m a mother of 4 grown up children, I would love to find out more about volunteering opportunities within the neonatal and cuddling babies scheme. If there are any hospitals in the Cornwall area then please contact me. I would love to help.
Beanie - 12-Jun-20 @ 4:17 PM
I would like to volunteer to the Premature Baby Cuddle Scheme. Can I please get some more information.Many thanks.
Carvandi - 24-May-20 @ 1:55 PM
Hi I would love to be able to offer my time to help in anyway I could for the premature baby units in Leicestershire.Thethought of offering time and love and emotionalsupport to staff and parents would be a pleasure. I’m a mother of three grown adults now and also grandmother which is a joy !i have experienced heartache and baby loss myself,so I fully understand the need for support .
Sally - 22-May-20 @ 9:01 PM
Hi there, I’m a mother of two, one is 18 and the other is 15. I would love to get involved in being a cuddler to a baby who needs cuddles.
Bronnie - 19-May-20 @ 10:02 PM
I would love nothing more than to cuddle babies in my spare time
Zoe - 4-May-20 @ 11:01 AM
I have 3 boys off my own 1-18 years old and twin boys 16 .. twins was premature and stayed in hospital for 9 weeks .. I love helping with the outer baby’s in their .. so rewarding job .. so wish I had more children but was 35 with twins .,my first boy was ivf after 13 years off trying .. x
Bong - 2-May-20 @ 11:45 PM
I have 3 grown up sons and 4 grand children and would love offer myself as a baby cuddler, it's the closeness that they need at a very young age
Wendy - 19-Mar-20 @ 6:54 PM
My daughter is now at university and my husband & I have moved into central London. I work part time so have spare time that I would absolutely love to volunteer my time to assist in ‘cuddle’ program.
Lee - 17-Mar-20 @ 8:37 AM
Hi. I’m a mother of 4 living in the Sutton area. I am freefrom 9am to 12 pm on Mondays , Wednesday and Fridays and would love to know if there is a baby cuddling opportunity around I can volunteer this time with to help babies in need.
Maya - 8-Mar-20 @ 11:02 AM
I would love to find out about any volunteering opportunities within neonatal or baby cuddling within Glasgow. I am a 39 year old mother of 3.
Mrs V - 3-Mar-20 @ 1:16 PM
Hello! It would be an honour to offer my time to share cuddles with babies who are looking for comfort & support. Who doesn't need this?! If any NHS or premature baby unit in the Hampshire area are looking for volunteers for evenings & weekends I would love to help. Please contact me if time & cuddles are the criteria for becoming a volunteer. Kirsty
Kirsty - 28-Feb-20 @ 8:12 PM
Hi I would like to b and baby cuddles I’m a mum of 4 grown adults plus grandchildren my eldest was tomonths premand in the sucbo he now is 32 years old I’m also a experienced nanny and nurserynurse I hold a level 3 child care and also a language and communication certificat I would only b available to work in London due to my own family hours and times r as long as they need me no time limit many thanks look forward hearing from you
Mandy - 17-Feb-20 @ 10:19 AM
Hi.I’m in Peterborough, I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler most evenings or weekends.
Jules - 11-Feb-20 @ 9:18 PM
I would love to give back for babies. My boys are all grown up and i know the stress when your baby is unwell. I have one evening a week and weekends x
Shazza - 4-Feb-20 @ 9:02 PM
Hi I was voluntary a nanny for my younger brother and my nephews:)I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler. I have weekends and 2 evenings during the week free to share lots of cuddles and love.
Sylwia - 1-Feb-20 @ 6:18 PM
Hi, I have two sons and two stepsons, all now in their 20’s.I had difficulties with both births and valued the help in my maternity units so greatly that I would like to ‘give something back’ now that I have the opportunity to do so. I would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler or similar in any nearby hospitals (eg Luton & Dunstable or Stoke Mandeville etc). Many thanks
Clara - 30-Jan-20 @ 11:32 AM
I have 4 kids and would love to volunteer as a baby cuddler
Loz - 29-Jan-20 @ 3:32 PM
I have 5 children. One who was a 32 weeker. I can tube feed and would love to help with cuddling the babies. Now my children are all grown and at school x
Kklove - 29-Jan-20 @ 3:18 PM
I've had 4 kids they're all growing up far too fast. My 2 boys have asd I have a keen interest in helping others with asd. I love babies and I have been through withdrawal myself from prescribed medication so I'd love to help any babies going through this.
Jenn - 25-Jan-20 @ 4:12 PM
Hi ya I'm a 33 year old mother of three, for the last three years I have been a single mother on my own with my two youngests are now 3 and 4 at nursery I want to find volentary work just help to give a little ?? I'm available Tuesdays and Wednesdays while my children are at nursery, if you need a hand with a bubba.
Donna - 18-Jan-20 @ 12:49 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments