Jenny has been nominated for our 2014 Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards by Allison Schleef.
Jenny Joy understands the emotional impact family’s face having a newborn spend time in a neonatal unit.
Jenny’s two sons both endured traumatic births with her first son, Matthew, born full term, being taken to NICU, hooked up to monitors and placed in an induced coma soon after birth. Her second son, Benjamin, was eight weeks premature and weighed only 1.8kg at birth. It was an emotional start for her family, something she will never forget.
Jenny was determined to offer guidance to new parents facing similar ordeals and founded Women Who Have Been There, a support group based in South Australia. Bringing together like minded friends who had been through the Neonatal experience, each having the same heartfelt desire to give back to families walking that journey, the group was formed in 2008 and continues to offer a lifeline within the community.
Jenny has been involved in all the planning and implementation of the groups support services and together with her team of volunteers, they host the morning teas every 4 weeks across Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit, Ashford Special Care Nursery and Flinders Private Special Care Nurseries which are held within the units. Their Neonatal Playgroup is run in the community fortnightly, separate to the NNU morning teas. She helps to co-ordinate and distribute country packs for mums who have arrived with little or no items from home, hosts morning tea’s whilst providing gifts for both Mother and Father’s Day celebrations, helps to co-ordinate Christmas Pamper Packs for mums, dads and their bubs, so families do not feel forgotten at Christmas and provides support through the groups Facebook page.
She was instrumental in helping to drive the groups vision in creating their ‘Our Stories’ book, a compilation of 30+ stories written by parents about their neonatal journey. The book provides heart provoking stories from family’s experiences in the NICU and watching their children overcome many obstacles. The book continues to raise funds to help support the group’s in-hospital services.
Jenny’s next mission is to supply a meal once a month to parents in the neonatal wards where they currently provide support. She is determined to make a difference and provide families ‘joy’ in the midst of an emotional journey and is truly humbled by her nomination.
If you know a premmie hero who volunteers their time in the community, make sure that you nominate them today!
You can read further nominee profiles HERE.