The Tommy’s Danceathon took place within 70 babyballet® schools across the UK, during October 2018, to help fund Tommy’s vital research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Thousands of boys and girls, aged 6 months to 6 years, were sponsored to complete five challenges in a Peppa Pig themed dance lesson.
Jessica Lilley, 37, Bexleyheath runs babyballet® Dartford, Bexley and Bromley which raised £45,927, the highest Danceathon franchise fundraiser. Jessica’s second son Arty, was born prematurely at 33 weeks.
Jessica comments, “Fundraising for Tommy’s means so much to me as in 2015 my son Arty was born at 33 weeks following a completely normal pregnancy. Having a baby born prematurely was scary and completely overwhelming and parenting a child in the NICU is tough especially when you have another child at home needing you as well. Having the support of Tommy’s means so much to anyone experiencing this in knowing you’re not alone and that people understand what you are going through. Arty is now a healthy and full of life 3-year-old.”
The Tommy’s Danceathon has raised money for Tommy’s vital research. Tommy’s funds four research centres in the UK that investigate causes and find treatments for miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Tommy’s also provides advice and support from a team of midwives for all parents-to-be to help them have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss during pregnancy or birth.
Everyone involved in the Danceathon event was overwhelmed to have raised such a significant amount of money. The campaign also reached over 1.5 million people with its online presence.
Claire O’Connor, founder and CEO of babyballet® said, “Raising over £400k for this special charity is just beyond our wildest dreams and on behalf of the whole babyballet family I feel immensely proud. The scale of people who want to be involved is just incredible and I think that proves just how many people are affected by the issues Tommy’s fund research into. The babyballet stars across the country really enjoyed taking part in Danceathon which is so important to us. We’re just so happy to be making a difference.”
Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of Tommy’s, comments, “Danceathon was a great way for mums and dads to involve their little ones in a good cause. Tommy’s relies on the generosity and hard work of its supporters like babyballet to continue its pioneering research to prevent pregnancy complications. We are thrilled that these babies and toddlers have helped raise so much money for Tommy’s.”