Glenvarna Christian Centre to host charity event

Zumba Instructor, Heather Vaughan Milligan of Fit n Well Northern Ireland along with Gerard and Karen Gillen and baby Isaac. INNT 34-808CON
Zumba Instructor, Heather Vaughan Milligan of Fit n Well Northern Ireland along with Gerard and Karen Gillen and baby Isaac. INNT 34-808CON

A couple from Glengormley, who have experienced the help provided by a local premature baby charity are holding a fundraising event for it.

Harmin residents Karen and Gerard Gillen are hoping to raise funds for TinyLife, Northern Ireland’s premature baby charity, a charity which is close to their hearts.

Their son, Isaac arrived early at 32weeks weighing 4lb 14oz at the Royal Jubilee Maternity last November, before being transferred to Antrim Neonatal Unit at just three days old. The family have experienced first-hand the great work TinyLife does to support families in a similar position.

As a way of giving something back, they have organised a Zumbathon, led by Heather Vaughan Milligan of Fit n Well Northern Ireland. This will take place on Friday, September 2 at Glenvarna Christian Centre, 34A Ballynure Road, BT36 5SW.

It will run from 7pm until 9pm and all proceeds raised will go to the charity.

Details can be found at www.facebook.com/dancefortinylife, or turn up and pay £10 entrance fee at the door.

Speaking to the Times, Karen said: “The service provided by TinyLife is outstanding. Most of their volunteers have experienced having a premature baby and so they can draw on their own experience to help others who find themselves in that position.

“Isaac is nine months now and is making really good progress. He’s just started to crawl. When he was born, I was unsure if he would reach these milestones- it was devastating. We have received so much help from TinyLife. I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the fundraiser and show their support to the charity.”

TinyLife is a small local charity providing emotional and practical support to the parents of premature babies across Northern Ireland, through their raft of Family Support Services.

Every day in NI six babies are born too soon, some arriving as early as 26 weeks and weighing as little as 1lb.

For further information about the charity or to organise your own fundraising event, visit www.tinylife.org.uk or call Community Fundraiser, Gillian Breen on 02890815050. Gillian can also be contacted via email at gillian@tinylife.org.uk