The Human Milk Foundation has teamed up with SERV Norfolk to give mums across Norfolk access to donated breast milk – thanks to a £8,776 donation from Norfolk Freemasons to purchase the vital specialised breast milk storage fridge
This will give support to mothers in the community whose babies need short-term donor milk to help establish their own milk supply, or where they are unable to breastfeed for medical or practical reasons. The donor breast milk hub is the very first of its kind and will be located in Norwich.
Dr Natalie Shenker from The Human Milk Foundation said: ‘We are overjoyed to have received this support to establish the very first Human Milk Foundation donor milk hub. This will help more mothers across Norfolk to donate their milk, including those who have been sadly bereaved.
‘Donor milk will be more easily available to the hospitals in Norfolk caring for very sick or premature babies, for whom human milk can be lifesaving, as well as to mothers diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses that mean they cannot breastfeed. This will be a model which can be rolled out across the country.’
Transport will be provided by SERV Norfolk, whose blood bike volunteers currently carry blood, plasma, platelets, samples and vaccines to hospitals.
SERV Norfolk Operations Manager Colin Farrington added: ‘We have quietly been working on this project for a while, but the funding from Norfolk Freemasons means we can now move forward. It will also reduce the number of journeys to the milk banks in Cambridge and Hertfordshire currently made by the SERV Norfolk volunteers.’
Stephen Allen, Norfolk Freemasons Provincial Grand Master, presented the cheque to Dr Natalie Shenker from The Human Milk Foundation and Colin Farrington SERV Norfolk Operations Manager.
Stephen said: ‘We have previously supported SERV Norfolk with three bikes and local lodges have also given their own financial support. The donated breast milk hub is a first for Norfolk. We saw the need and are proud to fund the specialist fridge to get the service up and running and benefit the community.'