Grieving mum who set up charity after losing son at just four hours old wins £30,000 of National Lottery funding to support other families
Leo’s Neonatal was founded by Lottie King after the tragic loss of her son Leo.
Twin brothers Leo and Oska were born prematurely in 2015, both weighing less than a bag of sugar each.
Unfortunately, baby Leo didn’t survive and Oska spent a total of 109 days on the neonatal unit.
Lottie set up Leo’s Neonatal to supporting families going through similar ordeals in hospitals in the North East.
The charity was set up in memory of Leo and offers counselling and guidance to families of newborn babies who are receiving specialist care in hospital neonatal units.
The organisation has now won £30,000 of National Lottery funding to continue its work, which has seen an increased need since the onset of the pandemic.
Lottie said: “We are incredibly thrilled that the funding will allow us to run our ‘Nurture’ project as a direct result of the impact COVID-19 has had on neonatal families.
"Once lockdown began, our need increased significantly, and we saw new avenues of support which were needed and needed quickly.
"Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been fortunate enough to revolutionise the care we provide at Leo’s and offer a new standard of support which looks after not only the parents or carers, but the babies, the siblings and the grandparents.”
The aim is to help treat issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression - and improve infant mental health and child development.
The National Lottery funding will allow Lottie and Leo’s Neonatal to provide specialist support to families going through difficult circumstances across the North East.
Duncan Nicholson, Head of Funding for the North East & Cumbria at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Groups such as Leo’s Neonatal are making an amazing contribution to the community-level response.”
Leo’s Neonatal works alongside neonatal units in Sunderland Royal Hospital, The University Hospital of North Durham, The James Cook University Hospital and Darlington Memorial Hospital.