Record-Breaking Ball for Tiny Lives – Businessman Rallies Business Community

A Ponteland businessman whose daughter’s life was saved as a new born baby has helped the Tiny Lives charity raise a record-breaking amount. LA Taxis director Rob Armstrong rallied local businesses together to support the Tiny Lives charity ball and helped to raise a staggering £72,000.

The Tiny Lives Trust is a registered charity that helps to care for premature and sick new-born babies and their families in the Neonatal Unit based in Ward 35 of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. The unit cares for more than 750 babies and their families every year and Tiny Lives needs to raise £400,000 annually to support a range of facilities, staff and equipment. Tiny Lives is a stand-alone charity that provides the users of the Neonatal Unit with support by providing the things that the NHS don’t.

Rob and Beverley Armstrong’s daughter Brooke (13) spent nine weeks on the unit when she was born prematurely. The care and support given to Brooke and the couple has never been forgotten and every year they help with fundraising for the charity. In recent years, the maximum raised at the annual ball was £27,000 but thanks to a momentous effort by Rob and the generosity of the North East business community, the figure this year was transposed to a record breaking £72,000.

“I know that year on year it gets more difficult to find the £400,000 needed to ensure that this fantastic charity continues to help parents and families of babies treated in the unit. It’s amazing the work they do here but what is even more amazing is the amount of people in our region who have been touched by their work,” said Rob. “I feel indebted to Tiny Lives for everything they have done for Brooke and thousands of other babies all across the region. No one should ever forget the help they have been given to help their children.”

Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser said: “Without supporters like Rob, this charity wouldn’t be able to operate. We have many sponsors and supporters including LA Taxis and Pinpoint Recruitment and their support is invaluable. The way that businesses rallied around at our last ball was phenomenal as £72,000 will provide a whole host of support to the parents and families of the babies being looked after in the unit.”

Tiny Lives help parents meet transport costs to get to the hospital, pays for specialist training for nursing staff, provides paediatric social workers to advise on benefits, finances and emotional support and brings in expert physiotherapists when the babies need specialist therapies.

Paying a visit to the place of her birth and early care, Brooke who is a young actor and dancer was impressed with the nursing staff and the work of the charity: “It’s hard to imagine how vulnerable I must have been when I was being looked after here but I can see how the money raised is being spent and I’m very grateful for the way they saved my life.”

Indeed, Brooke who has recently returned from a starring role in “The Life of Reilly” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performed a dance routine at the recent Tiny Lives ball.