A COUPLE whose daughter was born sleeping have climbed the highest mountain in Wales in her memory.

Grace and Ashley Banham’s first daughter, Violet Esme, was born sleeping on October 28, 2017.

The tragedy has prompted the pair, and their daughter Everly, to climb Mount Snowdon recently to raise funds for a donation of storybooks for parents to read to their babies at Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre.

The couple, from Bacup, made the donation to ELHT&Me, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust’s charity, for the bereavement suites and the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the women and newborn centre.

Mrs Banham said: “For parents, it’s really important to be able to bond with their babies in the short space of time they have.

“Being given this option gives them that chance to read and bond with them whilst staying in the bereavement suites and on NICU.”

“Earlier this year we welcomed our rainbow baby into the world, Everly, who spent some time in NICU before being allowed home.

"Giving birth at the same place where Violet was born was an emotional experience, but the support we received from our consultant, midwives, nurses and our bereavement midwife, made us want to say a big thank you by continuing to support them, and parents who had been through a similar experience to us.”

The family climbed Mount Snowdon, which has an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level, and reached the summit in just over two hours, to raise funds for the books.

At its peak, the couple displayed a banner with almost 210 names of babies born sleeping, submitted by parents through the family’s’ “Colours of a Rainbow” social media channels.

The books are now available for parents who have babies who are born sleeping, or babies who are undergoing treatment in NICU, to read to their babies.

It isn’t the first donation the couple have made to ELHT&Me, as last year they walked the Old Man of Coniston and raised almost £2000 throughout the year to purchase brand new cameras for the bereavement suites.

Denise Gee, fundraising manager at ELHT&Me, said: “We are really grateful to Grace and Ashley for their thoughtful donation to the women’s and newborn centre, and we’re proud of their amazing achievement of climbing Mount Snowdon as a family!

“These books will make a big difference to parents bonding with their baby whilst they are in the bereavement suites or NICU – a perfect example of how a charitable gesture can help us go above and beyond standard NHS funding for our family care services.”

“I would encourage anyone who would like to raise funds for the hospital, or to make a donation, to please contact the fundraising team by visiting our website – www.elht.nhs.uk/charity.”

ELHT&Me was launched last year and aims to raise funds to invest in new equipment and improve facilities.

It also aims to ‘enhance the patient environment’ at ELHT’s five hospitals – Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Teaching hospitals and community hospitals Accrington Victoria, Clitheroe and Pendle.

The appeal has focused on improvements that are ‘over and above’ normal NHS provision, such as specialised medical equipment and better patient facilities.