I recently met with a mum, Sarah and grandma, Margaret of a lovely boy who started off his journey, like my Jessica, a little bit earlier than expected. After their experience, they felt compelled to raise money to help support Southmead NICU in any way they could. They currently run Little Tiddlers Market events, which brings small businesses and families together for afternoons of fun! Today, I'm going to tell you a bit about their time in NICU, a review of their market as both a mother and a small business owner and some information at the end on event dates, deals, and how you can help.
The market itself is held at Iron Acton Parish hall. It consists of a variety of different stalls, including Usborne Books, Younique, Linelife, Bouncy Castles, Partylite, Forever Living, Avon and of course, Clare Shapcott Photography. Each event also tends to have an array of independent creative businesses. I have seen handmade cards, florists, handmade jewelry and a variety of beautiful crafts. There is always a happy vibe between stall holders, and Sarah helps to make sure of this by only booking one of each type of stall so that there is no competition. This has the added benefit of giving an amazing variety of products to choose from!
On entering the market there is an entry fee of only £1. There is also a chance to play games such as Lucky Dip, Hook a Bag, Name The Teddy, Guess the Sweets, Guess the Hamper and Tombola. All of these games' profits are donated to Southmead NICU. The Toy Stall and the Clothes Stall also donate to the unit. Clare Shapcott Photography runs a variety of photoshoots and vouchers which donate to the unit too.
We have been to a few of these markets now and I have to say it's the most fun I have had while raising money to support a cause which is so close to our family. My toddler has a lot of fun looking at the stalls, playing in the play area, eating cake from the cafe and bouncing on the bouncy castle - even making friends while he's there! My baby girl also gets treated to cake... in that I eat a lot of cake and then breastfeed her! Those of you who know my husband will know that he is very frugal and only goes for the best of deals, and even he has come away with clothes and items from the market.
As a business owner I have been treated amazingly by Sarah, Margaret and the whole team! They helped me with small tasks on the day, such as lending me a tub to collect donation money and helping me create a big enough sign. Sarah always puts a great deal of thought into the arrangement of the market and has always planned carefully on where to put the stalls to help reach people who are most interested in my services. As a mum, they have been amazing with me. They have supported me to be able to work while having a small, breastfeeding baby. I have felt comfortable breastfeeding there and have been offered a room if I wanted to go somewhere private.
As well as having a stall, I also do mini-photoshoots at many of the little tiddlers market events. These are very reduced and some, often all, of the proceeds are donated to Southmead NICU (Please see each event for more info).
I have to say, I think the work that Sarah and Margaret put into these markets is truly inspiring. And there is good reason for it. Sadly, the neonatal units don't get anywhere close to the amount of funding they need through the government. The hospitals provide life saving care for babies that otherwise would not make it. The staff at Southmead are incredible and the work they do there is amazing. As always, I have to mention my baby girl Jess, who wouldn't be here today without the amazing care at Southmead NICU.
There are a few ways that you can help:
1) Attending the events..
Iron Action Parish Hall
High St, Bristol BS37 9UH
Dodington Parish Hall
Finch Rd, Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37 6JZ
*Clare Shapcott Photography will have a stall at this event (one off deals and vouchers will be offered)
***Clare Shapcott Photography will be offering mini Photoshoots at this event (donations are always made to Southmead Neonatal Unit)
2) Offering Donation of Clothes and Toys...
Please contact Sarah on email@example.com to donate any clothes and toys to be sold at these events.
3) Donating Through 'Go Fund Me'...
Please do not hesitate to donate here. No donation is too small. www.gofundme.com/raising-money-for-southmead-nicu
4) Taking Part in Competitions and Auctions
Sarah runs an online facebook group, which promotes various competitions and auctions and has more information about the events being held and the suppliers involved. www.facebook.com/groups/147499866025244