Foundation of Irish Premature Babies:
After leaving the NICU with a second premature baby in 2009, Allison Fegan Molloy felt that since having her first premature baby in 2006 that there was not still not enough readily available information or support for parents when they have a premature baby in Ireland. Ireland in 2009 had very little that represented and promoted the welfare of parents of premature babies and according to the most recent statistics from the Central Statistics Office, there are over 4,500 babies born before 37 weeks in Ireland thus highlighting the need for parents to feel represented and cared about. So in December 2009, despite having a new premature baby born that year and a two year old toddler, she decided to address these issues and try to make life a little easier for parents throughout the country, and founded the organisation called Irish Premature Babies. She set up the facebook page , twitter account and website, which she still runs for the charity.
The initial concept of Irish Premature Babies was to facilitate a focal point for parents to connect with each other on social network sites so they would not feel so alone or isolated and to create a website that would provide relevant information for parents living in Ireland on topics such as rights & entitlements, where to buy premature baby clothing, where to get support in the community etc. Soon after its formation Irish Premature Babies had its logo designed by Patricia & Matt Malia, who had already been a great support since the formation of the Irish Premature Babies.
Development of the organisation - Irish Premature Babies:
Within a few weeks of its formation, Allison secured a number of people to come on board with Irish Premature Babies. Each parent kindly volunteered their valuable time and effort to further grow and develop the organisation. The organisation grew very quickly, much quicker than anticipated. The organisation was overwhelmed with parents looking for support. The organisation continued to attract volunteers who believed in the ethos and essence of what Irish Premature Babies is all about. After less than a year, IPB was set up as a company limited by guarantee without a share capital and then went on to apply for charity status, which we received in early 2011. The charity is still growing at a phenomenal rate, and the charity is still evolving and developing to meet the challenges that are faced by families each day in Ireland.
Our chairperson has never claimed a salary since the charity was started and has worked solely as a volunteer. Due to the ill health of the chairperson , the board of directors had to appoint a part time contract administrator so the chairperson could get the treatment needed and decrease the number of voluntary hours to 15 per week instead of the previous 40. Until the chairperson is back to full health, the charity will need an administrator is handle day to day operations. On average we get between 10 and 20 phone calls a day , up to 75 emails and up to ten messages on our facebook page. Some queries are easily dealt with and require one reply and some queries can take much longer.