Evan aims to shine a light on neonatal care

Evan and his cousin Ollie who needed neonatal care after his birth.

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A Carradale schoolboy is planning to light up his village on November 20 to raise money for parents visiting their premature babies in hospital.

Mindful of social distancing nine-year-old Evan McConnachie will  walk from Carradale Harbour to Semple’s Post Office adorned in lights and accompanied by his sister Leah on her horse, Ted.

The Castlehill Primary School pupil decided to take on the challenge after a staff member at his school, and two of his aunties, all had children who required neonatal care.

‘Evan is quite sensitive towards the plights of others and started asking a lot of questions about newborn babies who require special care,’ said mum Louise.

‘We explained to him that this was necessary when babies came early as they needed some extra care and that it was difficult for some parents to spend time with them, especially considering many have faced further separation due to the current Covid restrictions, and he decided he wanted to raise money to help.’

Evan will take part in his Light up the Night sponsored walk on Friday, November 20 in aid of the charity Bliss which has worked to adapt their services throughout the pandemic.

Volunteers from the organisation have been training to offer support to parents by video call, keeping up to date with research, campaigning for parents to be able to care for their babies in the units and providing information leaflets free of charge to all UK neonatal units.

The cost of providing this has been a challenge for the charity with so many fundraising events not being able to go ahead this year.

‘We need Bliss to continue to be there for babies. Please give generously if you can and sponsor Evan for his Little Lights walk,’ added Louise.

Evan will be joining super fundraisers across the UK taking part in sponsored walks and lighting up the night for the 100,000 babies born premature or sick each year.

A Bliss spokesperson said: ‘Our clear and comprehensive information is vital to illuminate the way for families in neonatal care at this time.

‘We’re supporting neonatal units to reinstate unrestricted access for parents, as well as campaigning for parents suspected of having Covid-19 to be prioritised for testing to minimise separation from their baby.’

An email and video support service also provides families with somewhere to turn for emotional support.

Evan’s journey begins at 6pm when he hopes that the Carradale community will give him a wave from a safe distance along the route.

Anyone wishing to donate to Evan’s cause can do so at the Louise McConnachie fundraising for Bliss Just Giving page.