Family farm event to thank Neonatal Unit

Gareth and Judith Smyth, with twin sons Wallace and Austin. They are hosting an open day at their Cloughmills farm on Saturday 22nd April to raise money for the Perinatal Trust Fund at the RVH Neonatal Unit.
Gareth and Judith Smyth, with twin sons Wallace and Austin. They are hosting an open day at their Cloughmills farm on Saturday 22nd April to raise money for the Perinatal Trust Fund at the RVH Neonatal Unit.

The Perinatal Trust Fund at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Neonatal Unit is set to benefit from the proceeds of a charity event hosted by the Smyth family from Cloughmills.

Dairy farmers Gareth and Judith are the proud parents of twin sons Wallace and Austin. Born almost 16 weeks premature, the boys celebrated their first birthday on New Years Day.

Gareth Smyth explained: “The RVH Neonatal Unit cares for premature and sick babies from all over Northern Ireland. It’s a charity very close to our hearts. Austin and Wallace were very premature at birth, weighing 1lb 10ozs and 1lb 8ozs.

“The twins spent the first few months of their lives in incubators in Intensive Care. It was a stressful and difficult time for the whole family, but thanks to the excellent facilities and specialist care provided by the medical professionals, they are miracle babies.”

The Smyth family has teamed-up with dairy cattle breed club Holstein NI to host a charity Open Day to raise funds for the Province’s Neonatal Unit. The event will take place at the family’s Hillcrest Farm, 10 Ballyportery Road, Cloughmills on Saturday, April 22 from 11am to 4pm.

Judith added: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the open day and raise funds for the Perinatal Trust Fund. The Neonatal Unit is a specialist facility which cares for premature and sick babies from all over Northern Ireland. We have great admiration for the vital services they provide on a daily basis.

“Proceeds from the open day will help fund life-saving equipment and provide support and facilities for the parents of premature and sick babies.”

Generously supported by principal sponsors Lacpatrick and Ecosyl from Volac, the open day promises to be a fun-filled day for all members of the family. The event has attracted more than 45 trade stands and craft stalls, and will feature nail painting, barbecue, flower and cookery demonstrations, and a charity auction.

Younger visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy a host of activities including face painting, bouncy castle, assault course, pony rides and a quad bike train.

Gareth Smyth added:” We have been overwhelmed by the support pledged by local businesses, and we have been inundated with donations for the charity auction and raffle.”

Items for the charity auction include two pedigree Holstein calves, garden furniture, a signed Ulster rugby jersey, and a host of other items.

Judith Smyth concluded: “The event offers something for everyone, and a warm invitation is extended to members of the non-farming community, to come along and enjoy the day. It’s all about having a fun and raising money for charity!”

Follow the dedicated facebook page ‘Holstein NI Family Open Day’.