Tommy's Splashathon 2019 - a note from Tommy's CEO

With the 2019 Splashathon just around the corner, please find below a note from Tommy's CEO Jane Brewin who wanted to remind everyone of the history of the Water Babies and Tommy's partnership

Water Babies have been with Tommy’s every step of the way.  

When Water Babies and Tommy’s first started working together in 2006, we funded two centres in London and Manchester and were establishing a belief that there was and is something we can do to prevent babies from dying in pregnancy.

Tommy’s funded medical research and we had begun to understand that we could translate that increased understanding into caring for families who were at high risk of baby loss. We established clinics for high risk cases and started to save lives.

We wanted to help more people and accelerate the pace of discovery and so in 2008, Water Babies helped us to open our third centre in Edinburgh, focusing on obesity and the many complexities it adds to pregnancy health and lifelong implications for the baby. 

Tommy’s were now funding research and looking after parents at risk of stillbirth, preterm birth and many of the conditions which lead to these outcomes such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure. But we were not helping all those parents (1 in 4) who suffered early miscarriage.

In 2016, we opened the National Centre for Miscarriage Research giving hope to the 250,000 parents who suffer each year and giving a voice to this group who had suffered in silence. Water Babies enabled us to do all this by delivering reliable income every two years and it has been that long-term commitment which has been so impactful.

Since Water Babies and Tommy’s started working together we have:

  • Become the national leaders for pregnancy safety
  • Lobbied government health policy to set targets for the reduction of stillbirth and preterm birth
  • Cared for many families around the UK and enabled them to have a healthy baby
  • Made significant research discoveries which have led to improved health care around the world
  • Preterm birth and miscarriage research centres in the UK
  • Given a voice to families enduring pregnancy loss and renewed hope that they can have a healthy baby
  • Empowered parents to reduce the known risks in pregnancy through our pregnancy information service

During the last Splashathon, you raised an incredible £1.17 million which enabled us to fund each of our centres for 6 months. Water Babies are a cornerstone fundraiser and the reason we are able to do the work that we do and save the babies that we do.

Now, in our final year of working together, you will help us to take the next vital step in our quest to bring these discoveries to so many more families across the UK. Ensuring where you live won't determine if your baby lives. Our pioneering 5th Centre - The National Centre for Improving Maternity Care.

People who are cared for at our four Tommy's clinics have better outcomes, but the odds are much worse in other parts of the country. More and more people are travelling long distances to be looked after in a Tommy's centre. 

Through our research and clinical practice, we know a lot about excellence in maternity care, but less about how to ensure that this is accessible to all women and families beyond our centres of excellence. 

We urgently need to focus on the spread and scale of evidence based practice around the UK to improve care for everyone, wherever they live. We need to reduce the clear geographical and socio-demographic inequalities that exist in the quality of maternity care. 

Nichola sought help from Tommy's when she was trying to conceive, you can see her story here: 

Thank you for taking this journey with us so far Water Babies, we are truly thankful for your years of continued support. Now join us in our fight to transform maternity care in the UK by making Splashathon 2019 the best year yet!


Jane x

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