Fundraiser wins award for her compassion

Tina Parrott with daughter Rachel
Tina Parrott with daughter Rachel

A dedicated fundraiser has won an award for compassion for raising thousands for a charity that provides specialist support for bereaved families and raises awareness on sudden infant death.

Tina Parrott, who is the CONI (Care of Next Infant) administrator for CNWL’s Milton Keynes Community Health Services at Hilltops Medical Centre, received her trophy during the trust’s Annual Gem and Long Service Awards ceremony having been nominated by her own daughter, Rachel, as well her manager, Bev Shaw and her CONI lead, Wilma Burns.

During her fundraising efforts last year Tina raised a magnificent £2,209 that has so far bought one sleep monitor which was matched by The Lullaby Trust and funds raised mean there is money for more monitors and additional CONI resources. The monitors are part of the six-month programme of support that families who have suffered a cot death receive from the Milton Keynes CONI team and charity, the Lullaby Trust.

Among her efforts, she has held a bingo night and raffle and jam jar tombola at the Milton Keynes Dons Family Fun Day, held cake sales at work and Christmas and Easter lucky dips. Tina carried out a charity tandem sky dive to raise money and held a quiz night and raffle where she announced how much money she had raised and how many monitors she had managed to purchase.

Tina, who received the award from trust chief executive Claire Murdoch and trust chair Prof Dorothy Griffiths, said: “I have been so touched by these parents who have suffered a loss of their own child or a family member, and are understandably worried about their next child.

I’m glad I’ve managed to provide the funds to support these families with equipment when it is needed as some of the older sleep monitors are getting old with some being condemned once calibrated.

“I am delighted I won this award. It meant so much to me, particularly that my lovely daughter Rachel was one of the people who nominated me for it.”

The CONI program (part of the Lullaby Trust) is a programme offered throughout the country primarily by the Health Visiting Service to offer extra support to families who have suffered a sudden infant death.

The support they get for their next child includes a sleep monitor which measures the child’s breathing rate and heart rate, if the levels dip below a certain level then the parents are notified by a small alarm. This is a lot smaller than the machines that are in hospital as they are in the family home.

Tina’s job is to manage the Milton Keynes team arranging with the local CONI co-ordinators to meet the families and hand out the monitors and to help in providing support to families.

In her citation, Rachel said of Tina: “There are not enough monitors in Milton Keynes for the demand of the families that need them so she has done fantastically with fundraising money to get more sleep monitors. She is such an amazing woman who always puts everyone else first. I am so proud of her and proud to call her my mum - she is an inspiration.”

More than 120 nominations were received for CNWL’s Annual Gem Awards. Finalists in the seven award categories - which included Compassion - were nominated by their peers and patients for their outstanding work, their dedication to trust values and for constantly going above and beyond for their patients and colleagues.