Debra Walters Life's Little Treasures Interview

Debra Walters Life's Little Treasures Interview

Debra Walters Life's Little Treasures Interview

Ruby had her baby Dominic at 26 weeks whilst on holiday in Adelaide. He was a tiny 1040gm. She was distraught and alone. We received a phone call on our 24-hour support line; we could hardly understand her, as she was crying so much. Her husband had to return to their home in NSW to work and care for their other son. She was facing 4 months or more alone in Adelaide. Were able to put her in touch with our Adelaide counsellor and provide her with a Precious Prems Pack. The only accommodation the social workers at hospital could find her was a 2-hour trip away.

We were able to put her in touch with a group who found her closer accommodation, so Ruby could be with Dominic all day. After a 14hour day by his bedside she was forced to leave him.

Would Dominic be alive when she returned? Was it her fault? How would she cope alone? We were able to provide support, understanding and financial assistance.

45,000 babies like Dominic are born premature or sick every year in Australia.
That is 45,000 families thrust into an unknown world with a thud, desperate for information, understanding, education, and hope.

Life's Little Treasures was founded 10 years ago by mothers in this exact situation: to provide the emotional support and services not offered by the hospitals. (Whose main concern is medical to keep the babies alive). Support groups both in hospital and at home, a 24 hour support line with trained counsellors, books, apps, webinars, education and financial help are just some of the services we provide.

Times are tough in the Charity Sector, with many charities fighting for the supporter dollar. Innovative ways to raise funds are being used to attract donors, such as the ALS # Icebucketchallenge, or the #nomakeupselfie campaign for Cancer.

Crowdfunding, typically used by entrepreneurs to fund start-ups and product development, but new to the charity sector in Australia, is our choice of campaign

Life's Little Treasures Foundation is launching our first Crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness of premature birth in Australia and to raise funds for LLTF to provide critical support and hope to families across Australia. We are using the not for profit crowdfunding platform Chuffed with a target of $20,000 in the next 40 days.

Ruby is happy to be interviewed + we have more families with premature babies who are happy to tell their story.

Who: Life's Little Treasures Foundation
What: Chuffed Crowdfunding Campaign
When: for the next 40 days
Where: https://chuffed.org/project/lifeslittletreasures/ - /home
Why: To raise awareness of the increase of premature babies and raise $20,000


Interview with Debra Walters

Question: What is Life's Little Treasures?

Debra Walters: The Life's Little Treasures Foundation is Australia's leading charity dedicated to providing support, friendship, education and support for the families of premature and sick babies.


Question: Why was Life's Little Treasures funded?

Debra Walters: It was founded in 2005, (this is our 10th Anniversary.) but parents, all of whom had a sick or premature baby. They met in hospital, and realised how important it was for families to have access to information and a community they could identify with and feel part of. Someone who understood the challenges they faced.


Question: How does Life's Little Treasures help mothers of premature babies?

Debra Walters: We provide extensive support for families and their babies through: Informative website and information links
Iphone and Android APPS which provide critical medical information for NICU and SCN.
Hospital Resource Folder 'A Guiding Hand to NICU and Special Care"
Interactive Educational Webinars , in conjunction with The Murdoch Children's Institute
Hospital and Community based Support Groups
24 hour Support Line
Parent Support Network
Online Facebook community
Family social days, such as our Walk for Prems event held in October every year in 7 cities Australia wide.
Financial and Material assistance


Question: Can you provide a story, as to how you've helped a mother and her family, recently?

Debra Walters: Recently we had a mother Ruby who had her baby Dominic at 26 weeks whilst on holiday in Adelaide. He was a tiny 1040gm. She was distraught and alone.

We received a phone call on our 24-hour support line; we could hardly understand her, as she was crying so much.

Her husband had to return to their home in NSW to work and care for their other son. She was facing 4 months or more alone in Adelaide.

We were able to put her in touch with our Adelaide counsellor and provide her with a Precious Prems Pack and a Financial assistance voucher for food and transport. The only accommodation the social workers at hospital could find her was a 2-hour trip away. We were able to put her in touch with a group who found her closer accommodation, so Ruby could be with Dominic all day.

After a 14hour day by his bedside she was forced to leave him. Would Dominic be alive when she returned? Was it her fault? How would she cope alone? We were able to provide support, understanding and financial assistance.


Question: Who works on the 24 hour support line?

Debra Walters: The support line is manned by LLTF staff and volunteers who have been trained by Lifeline.


Question: What is the Crowdfunding campaign?

Debra Walters: The Crowdfunding campaign is our fundraising program to raise $20,000 to assist us to continue to provide these services. We are totally self funded and receive NO Government assistance.


Question: What is your goal for the next 40 days?

Debra Walters: We hope to increase the profile of the importance of Support and Assistance for the families of Premature and Sick babies, who need assistance as much as the babies. We would love to get the Corporates to donate!


Question: What's next for Life's Little Treasures?

Debra Walters: Hopefully raising more awareness in the general community, building our support network to all hospitals in Australia with NICU or Special Care Nurseries. We currently work with 80.

Obtaining more funds via grants and convincing the Government of the necessity of supporting these families.

We are looking at working with more Companies to provide assistance via Workplace giving.

We are hoping to be able to provide support to the 45,000 families that have a premature or sick baby every year in Australia.


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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