Purple is the colour for young survivors in Sheffield

Families gather at the Peace gardens to mark World Prematurity Day. Joey Ashton, two, from Halfway was born two months early
Families gather at the Peace gardens to mark World Prematurity Day. Joey Ashton, two, from Halfway was born two months early
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Children who have survived being born prematurely joined their parents and hospital staff at special events in Sheffield.

Julie Bathie, a senior sister at the Jessop maternity wing’s neonatal unit, organised a host of activities in the city centre to mark World Prematurity Day.

On the night, all 156 lights in the Peace Gardens, and the water in the Barker’s Pool fountains, were turned purple – the colour of the Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants.

Balloons were released, a candlelit vigil took place and the Jessop Wing choir sang songs from hit Disney film Frozen.

Parents of babies born early brought along photos of their children holding socks showing their size at birth, which were pinned to a ribbon.

Funds were also collected for Sheffield’s Little Miracles support group, which supports the families of premature babies.

Julie described it as a ‘very exciting day’, saying: “We know at firsthand having a premature baby can turn your world upside down.

“Around the globe each year, 15 million babies are born too soon. Sadly, about one million of these babies will not survive – 60,000 right here in the UK.”