CAN YOU help the Virgin train staff with their latest community fundraising project?

Virgin staff based at Manchester Piccadilly are a charitable group, each year they choose a worthwhile Manchester cause that needs a little help in order to achieve something amazing.

This year it’s the Neonatal Unit at North Manchester Hospital.

The staff on the unit offer much needed support to people who are affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth, and work closely with SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.


They have two inter-connected rooms set aside for ladies who have to give birth to a baby that has already died, to give Mum and her closest relatives the privacy and attention they need at such a difficult time.

While one room is used for the actual delivery and has to remain a sterile, clinical environment, the other is for the initial couple of days following the birth, when constant medical assistance and support is often needed.

There is a double bed with homely bedding, an old TV and DVD player, hot drink making facilities and a limited selection of books and DVDs.

Staff have named it the Rainbow Room.


The room has become very tired over the years; the magnolia walls, complete with holes, could really do with some attention while some new bedding, cushions, throws and other items  would make a massive difference.

The Virgin Piccadilly team are eager to make this happen, as well as adding a new TV/DVD player, a new colour scheme with some matching pictures, a new table and shelving unit as well as a comfy chair for Dad or other close relative to relax while Mum rests.

The list is quite long and everything needs to be wipe clean to prevent any infection – there will be some considerable cost involved.

The Virgin team are volunteering their time to go to the unit and decorate it, installing any new items they can get their hands on and are in the process of typing up a ‘Wish List’ to take round local businesses to see what people can donate. As the items are collected they will be knocked off the list, the team are hoping to add a couple of additional, low cost items to the existing remembrance garden too.


The Virgin team have already kicked off the collection by donating their own ‘Love to Shop‘ vouchers, awarded for ‘going above and beyond’ while at work, and are using these to buy items for the room.

They are hoping for support with an advertising kick back – When the project is complete there will be a selection of advertisement options in the newsletter which is sent out locally, with details of every business that has donated time, money or goods:) They are also hoping to get the local media involved….

While I have still got your attention I would please ask you to bear with me and take a look at this request for £200 for much needed text books, from one of the staff at the neonatal unit, Michelle:

“At our unit  we run a full day study day which is on twice a month. Its a full day of study and role play of obstetric emergencies that we come into in our working day which enables us to deal with saving a woman’s and babies life by acting correctly and everyone knowing there role in the certain emergency. We need to purchase 30 books that will be used for the staff to read up on before their study session, then they will return for the next lot of staff to use at the next session. You would be invited to come in and watch a prompt session and see what we actually do in an emergency and how the books would benefit us greatly and what an investment they will be for future teaching.’

The books would be reused and help many people, not just the parents going through the trauma of complications, but also staff – helping them to be confident in dealing with this difficult situation.

The Virgin staff have scattered collection tins around Piccadilly Station and they are hoping to raise enough money to make a real difference.

Apologies for the length of this post – there is so much information to share about this great cause and I hope I haven’t overloaded your brain….

Some statistics:

Every day, 11 babies are stillborn and six newborn babies die – that’s 6,500 baby deaths a year.

One in every 200 babies delivered in the UK is stillborn (that is, the baby has died during pregnancy or birth any time from 24 weeks of pregnancy onwards)

One-third of stillborn babies – that’s around 1,200 babies every year – die after a full-term pregnancy (37 or more weeks).


All offers of fundraising advice, donations or suggestions would be much appreciated, contact details are below:)


*This blog is on behalf of a train driver I came across on Twitter – his name is John Young – @PendolinoDriver and he spends much of his time fundraising for community projects.

John has previously which raised over £40k
and  raising over £32k
and, more recently John organised the pendocycle200 where he got a team of riders to leave Piccadilly with Virgins first train then they cycled 200 miles to make it to Euston in tome for Virgins last train back to manchester. This raised over £16k

He had been approached for help by a friend who is part of the Virgin team and, not having a blog, he put a Tweet out for a hand. The rest, as they say, is history….

Contact: John Young – Train Driver     @PendolinoDriver


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