On June 4th we were delighted to hold the first of four Department of Health funded Small Wonders Champions Events. The purpose of these free events is to bring together a collection of the 460 Small Wonders Champions who are leading the way in their neonatal units across the country to promote Family Centred Care and ensure that the Small Wonders DVD is being used the best of its potential. Click here to find out more about how to book on one of the next three Champion Events.

An overview of the day, created by Jo Bradshaw, designer and graphic scribe during the opening session.

Over 50 delegates attended the first Champion event in the Coin Street Community Builders venue this June.  Alison Baum, founder and CEO of Best Beginnings chaired the event with the support of Tina Pollard, Small Wonders National Facilitator and a neonatal nurse of more than 25 years.

The fantastic atmosphere in the room was undoubtedly down to the mix of enthusiastic delegates from different backgrounds. Neonatal nurses, health visitors, counsellors, senior managers and student nurses, all Small Wonders Champions or potential champions took part in the day to share and learn from their colleagues and the line up of speakers. Midwives play a crucial role in the Small Wonders Programme and we are keen for more Midwives to attend the next Champions Days.

We welcomed some old and new faces to the programme of speakers for this important Small Wonders Event.

Joanna Bradshaw, the visual artist who created the cover of Small Wonders took part in a very innovative way, as a graphic scribe capturing the discussions and commentary through beautiful drawings and cartoons.

Sinem Shacolas, Mum of twins Uno and Duo featured on the Small Wonders DVD shared her story, highlighting the impact and importance of Small Wonders for families, like hers. Sinem is a true inspiration and can be seen on this film Best Beginnings made for The Big Lottery, with her son Nico who is now aged 3.


Small Wonders Champion, Elaine Wood, Neonatal Sister at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital took to the platform with Dr. Daghni Rajasingam, Consultant Obstetrician at Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital. Elaine and Daghni’s shared their experiences of embedding Small Wonders effectively into practice and encouraged champions to work with their colleagues in midwifery, obstetrics and the community to really drive change towards more family centred care. There presentation focused on effective antenatal embedding of the Department of Health funded DVD. 

Thank you to Elaine & Daghni for taking time out of their busy scedules and take part in the event.

Colaboration is key to Best Beginnings and we were very happy for Eileen Irvin, from Bliss to join us and update delegates on The Bliss Family Friendly Accreditation Scheme and how Small Wonders compliments it.

Then wonderful Caroline King, Paediatric Dietician (Neonatal Specialist) at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust shared the much anticipated Neonatal Feeding Checklist and discussed how to integrate it with the Small Wonder Programme. Caroline and her colleagues developed this tool to promote lactation and breastfeeding for babies and mothers on the neonatal unit. Best Beginnings are incredibly grateful to the staff of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Division of Neonatology for allowing us to share the Checklist with champions. See Resources for Champion  for more information.  

Caroline King, sharing insights from the creation and use of The Infant Feeding Checklist.

The first Small Wonders Champions Event has been a great success. As with all of our events we asked delegates to complete feedback forms. 

  • Sinem’s powerful “Impact and Importance of Small Wonders” session was rated excellent by 100% of delegates.
  • 91% of delegates described the day overall as excellent, with the remaining 9% describing it as very good.
  • 60% of delegated said that “Small Wonders in Practice” session was excellent, with 40% saying it was very good.
  • When asked whether they felt the day equipped them with the knowledge and confidence to embed Small Wonders in their hospital, 100% of delegates said yes.

The feedback and evaluation of the day demonstrated that the Champion Days and ongoing support of Best Beginnings team makes a big difference to our Champions and the embedding of Small Wonders.

“An excellent day! Feel totally motivated to take it forward in our locality”

“More Champions Days need to increase awareness, increase knowledge and awareness to improve family centred care”


“Very informative day. Thank you. Lots of ideas to take back to unit”


“Fantastic charity. Very helpful and friendly people who are very willing support me to embed skin-to-skin care at my hospital. The day has been very useful as I now have lots of ideas about how to go about improving care on our unit. ”

There is still plenty of time to book on one of the three remaining days but hurry as spaces are filling quickly!

Dates for your Diaries

  • Wednesday 15th October - Novotel Manchester West, Worsley Brow, Worsley, Manchester
  • Wednesday 29th October - Coin St Stamford St London                  

Please see here to download a flyer about this event.

For more information on any of these events or to book your place please fill out this form and send to: smallwonders@bestbeginnings.org.uk