Neomates visit

Neomates visit

24th January 2017

Jay and Ted Chapelhow gave a VIP behind-the-scenes experience of Widnes Vikings to members of NeoMates, a group that support s parents whose babies were born prematurely or with illnesses.

The Vikings stars gave the fathers from the group a tour of the Club's Performance Centre, offering an insight into the lives of players and a great day.

Neomates was started by neonatal staff from Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital who care for around 350 babies every year. The group was established to support the parents of those babies and help them to be physically and mentally strong. It gives them opportunities to share their experiences, find advice and make friends with people who understand what they are going through.

Adam Daniels, Health and Physical Activity Coach at Widnes Vikings, hosted a special exercise session for attendees. Following from this, members were then greeted by the Chapelhow twins, who gave them a tour of the stadium and shared stories of playing for the Club.

Dr Oliver Rackham, who established the NeoMates support group, said: “The time that families spend within the neonatal intensive care unit can be a difficult one; the weeks and months afterwards even more so, as parents adjust to life with a new baby. We developed NeoMates to support parents when they are often at their most vulnerable and this was the first of many opportunities we are planning for dads to have a bit of time out together. I am inspired and humbled by our NeoMates parents every day. I’d like to say a big thank you to the Vikings for being such great hosts and making us feel so welcome!”

Mike Johnston-Pratt, from Wirral, joined NeoMates after his baby was born prematurely. He said: “Having such a poorly baby can be very isolating for parents and even after leaving hospital, there are still many worries and challenges to face. Being part of NeoMates has been a huge support for our family and I’ve really appreciated having some time out behind the scenes with the Vikings. I can thoroughly recommend it to the other NeoMates dads and look forward to taking part in more events like this in the future.”

Jay Chapelhow says: "It's been a pleasure to welcome members of NeoMates, showing them where and how we train. We wanted to give them an experience that they'll really enjoy and remember. The work that the Vikings have done in supporting this group is brilliant. It is another example of how our community programme really makes a difference."

Neomates visit