Nottingham’s Council House was lit up in purple on Monday night to raise awareness for the 15 million babies that are born prematurely every year.
Inspired by New York’s Empire State Building and Toronto’s CN Tower, the Council House in Old Market Square was lit up in the event’s official colour.
With the help of Nottingham City Council, the building was illuminated at 5:30pm and the day ended with a candlelit Little Lights walk from Nottingham Castle to the Market Square.
Staff from Nottingham University Hospitals were joined by families who have spent time in the hospital’s neonatal baby units to raise awareness and money for national neonatal charity, Bliss.
Families walked with torches, lanterns and glow-up sticks.
Over 400 premature babies are born at the City hospital every year, including Isla Chapman, from Eastwood.
Isla had to spend 13 weeks in the neonatal unit after being born 3 months early and weighing only 1lb 3oz.
Danielle Dady, Isla’s mother, praised the hospital’s staff.
The 23-year-old said: “The staff are amazing. They become like your family. Isla would not be here today if it weren’t for them. I can’t thank them enough.”
Although more premature babies are surviving in comparison with 10 or 15 years ago, funds are still needed to help those who require treatment in neonatal units.
Manager of the neonatal unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Suzy Mortimore, has led the project to light up the city landmark for World Prematurity Day.
She said: “In previous years buildings across the world have been lit up and I thought it would be a really nice idea to do the same in Nottingham.
“We wanted to do something to celebrate [premature babies] and their families, as well as raising some funds for our units.”