Justin van der Merwe

Since becoming a father in 2017, I realise how easy it is to take your child's health for granted – we were very fortunate to become parents to a beautiful healthy son.

When he was about a year old he got very ill and we spent several anxious days in hospital with him and fortunately for us he made a full recovery.

Recently a family friend had their son born very premature and it reminded me how lucky we have been with our son and this why I am raising money for the Royal Surrey to help support those with premature and ill babies by taking part in London to Brighton Cycle Ride. 

About Closer to Care

All the money I raise will go towards supporting premature or sick babies being treated at Royal Surrey County Hospital. 

As is the case with many neonatal units around the country, parents with babies being treated at Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) cannot currently stay overnight with their babies, due to limited space. 

This separation can be extremely distressing for both the baby and parents. I'm raising money to help the charity change this. 

Giving families the option to stay with their babies at any time allows them to be much more involved in their babies’ care, which has been proven to be hugely beneficial for both baby and parent. 

Working with the hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity wants to redevelop the SCBU, providing the space and resources needed for parents to be able to stay overnight, next to their babies’ cot. This will mean parents can be by their side and can help care for their baby at any time, day or night.

As well as providing overnight accommodation, the redeveloped unit will include a family room, which will offer much-needed privacy for families receiving sensitive news, and a separate space for siblings to play with toys and visitors to gather and spend time together.

It’s a great cause, and your donation will help give the most vulnerable patients the very best start in life. Donating is easy, quick and secure.

Please share with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter – and elsewhere – so I can reach my target and together we can help Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity do more. Thank you!

Justin van der Merwe