The Tiny Lives Trust

The Tiny Lives Trust

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Mental health

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Supporting over 800 vulnerable babies and their families each year, the Tiny Lives Trust is the independent charity that supports the Neonatal Unit (Ward 35) at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), Newcastle upon Tyne.


Having a premature or sick baby can be one of the most difficult and life changing challenges a family experience. Tiny Lives is here to help ensure the best possible outcomes for babies and their families throughout their neonatal journey.


The Newcastle Neonatal Service based at Ward 35 is a level 3 unit and contains both neonatal intensive care and special care facilities. As the Regional Centre of Excellence, the unit looks after babies from across the North East and Cumbria. Babies are often transferred to the RVI from other hospitals in the Northern Neonatal Network, which stretches from the borders of Cumbria and Northumberland into North Yorkshire and as far south as Northallerton.

Our aims are:

  • All families are able to access support for their emotional and mental health
  • We will support an environment that nurtures family relationships, promotes wellbeing and removes barriers
  • We will support an environment that delivers excellence in clinical care


Tiny Lives aims to support the neonatal service in providing the highest quality of care by funding a range of facilities and services, staff posts, training, research and equipment, including:

  • funding for developmental care aids for premature and new-born babies. These include ‘Claire’s Nests’; soft, cosy nests that promote proper positioning and physiological stability. Each family also receives two ‘Mini boos’ when admitted to promote bonding between mum and baby.
  • a Paediatric Physiotherapist to aid early development, support families, and train nursing staff
  • Parent Admission pack and Memory journal, to help in the first few days, and record precious family memories made of the unit
  • a Paediatric Social Worker providing practical help and emotional support to families
  • Financial support, including travel and parking passes for all families, some of whom may have to travel for many months from across the region
  • specialist training courses and conferences for staff in order to provide the best possible care
  • research into neonatal care

We also provide support to families once they have left the care of the neonatal unit through various initiatives including:

  • Access to clinical psychologist post discharge
  • A range of free to access parent and baby classes through our Meet, Chat, Learn programme
  • Sling library loan scheme in partnership with the neonatal unit, enabling families to trial a sling for up to 8 weeks

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