A South Yorkshire mother whose daughter was born prematurely has won a national award for supporting other families.
Georgia Melbourne, from Dinnington, was honoured for helping parents of babies born needing neonatal care by Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity.
She was declared joint winner of the ‘special dedication to families’ award with Catherine Miles from Bristol at a ceremony in Stratford-upon-Avon.
“I am both humbled and delighted to receive this award,” said Georgia.
“I know at first hand the difficulties faced by families spending time on the neonatal unit, and it is an honour to be able to provide support to these families. The training and support I receive from Bliss is amazing, and I will be forever grateful for this.”
Georgia’s daughter Scarlett was born prematurely at 28 weeks. She subsequently suffered postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, for which she was only able to access support once she was at home with her daughter.
Georgia, now living happily with four-year-old Scarlett, became a Bliss volunteer 18 months ago. She wanted to ensure there was support for parents giving birth to premature or sick babies.
She has supported parents on the neonatal intensive care units at Rotherham Hospital and Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, and has shared her story in the press.
Georgia has also helped raise hundreds of pounds for Bliss through various fundraisers, including abseiling down Broadgate Tower in London and taking on the challenge of running 1,000 miles.
She gives speeches locally on the charity’s behalf, and is also part of the advisory parent panel for Little Bliss, the information, news and support magazine the good cause produces for parents of babies on neonatal units across the UK.
Georgia also knits gifts and has made Christmas stockings for babies on units where she volunteers.
The charity’s chief executive, Caroline Davey, said: “I’m delighted to recognise the many ways in which Georgia supports Bliss. She truly deserves this award in light of all of her volunteering activities to date.
“From supporting parents on units to representing Bliss in the media, and taking on numerous fundraising events, we are thrilled to be able to celebrate Georgia’s fantastic efforts in this way.
“We are so lucky to have so many wonderful supporters like Georgia Melbourne: the support of each and every one of them is invaluable in helping us to achieve our ambition to reach every single baby born needing neonatal care in the UK and their family.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to highlight the achievements of some of them.”