Hospital ‘home from home’ up and running

Jeni Read with her daughter Phoebe in the NICU
Jeni Read with her daughter Phoebe in the NICU

A converted bungalow close to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital can now home parents of extremely sick children– thanks to a £60,000 fundraising campaign.

The accommodation– which has three double bedrooms, a shower room, a kitchen and a garden– is located just minutes from the hospital.

It will serve as a vital ‘home from home’ for parents of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) who live a considerable distance away from the hospital.

Following a successful fundraising drive by L&D supporters those who live locally will also be able use the new facility.

Liz Langham, NICU lead nurse, said: “The new accommodation was entirely funded through donations and gifts in kind and is being offered to parents free of charge thanks to everyone’s continued generosity. 

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us.

“As well as thanking all our supporters and fundraisers, we would like to acknowledge the generosity of Tesco Extra in Dunstable who kindly donated all the soft furnishings and toiletries, and Co-op Funeral Services who donated the electrical goods.”

The L&D’s NICU is one of only three units in the East of England and provides the highest level of intensive care for premature and sick newborn babies.

Specialist staff look after more than 900 babies a year who come from as far afield as Essex, West Sussex and the West Midlands.

One of those who raised money for the £60,000 scheme was Luton father Thomas Darby, whose twins Daniel and Caitlinspent their first 19 weeks in the NICU.

He ran the London Marathon on April 26 and raised £1,670.

> If you would like to make a donation towards the project log on to or call the L&D fundraising team on 01582 718 289