The Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation was set up by triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx MBE and his wife Jo in 2003 following the premature births of both of their children.
A premature baby is defined as a baby born at less than 37 weeks gestation. On average, 11% of all babies born are premature, and, generally, babies arriving closer to 37 weeks require less care than those born earlier. Premature babies can often weigh very little, and on many occasions require an incubator and to be attached to breathing apparatus and monitors, and have a feeding tube or an intravenous line inserted.
Jo and Andy’s first child, Sebastian, was born four weeks premature, weighing only 3lbs 14oz after the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he hadn’t fed properly for nearly a month. After an emergency C-section, he would spend four weeks in an incubator as he learned how to breathe and feed on his own. Now 21 years old, he is following in his father’s footsteps and is a professional racing driver.
When Jo was pregnant for a second time, she fell ill, which brought forward the birth and Danniella was born five weeks early. She needed a few days on oxygen, but was out of the special care unit after eight days.Unfortunately Andy was away racing in Macau at the time, so his first meeting with his daughter was via video call, but rushed home within 36 hours to be with his new four-piece family.
Danniella is now a volunteer for the PPBF, helping put together baby boxes and working on the charity’s social media channels alongside Head of Communications Sammy Meerveld, and is currently setting up a YouTube channel which she hopes to create new content for with Sammy.
Inspired by the help they received both during and after each birth, the Priaulxs formed the PPBF to help raise money for their local neonatal unit and provide support for premature babies. Since then, the Foundation has gone on to raise over £1,000,000, which has been used to purchase equipment, including a cerebral monitor, incubator, ventilators, and training aids such as an advanced simulator doll. This is alongside a multitude of smaller, but just as important, items such as breast pumps, relaxing chairs and a much-used camera printer.
The PPBF is also committed to making the birth of premature babies as calming as possible. Many parents admit to feeling vulnerable, helpless and alone when faced with a premature birth, and the PPBF does everything it can to try and alleviate these feelings. Whether that is providing emergency assistance, compassionate housing in one of its two apartments in Southampton or providing new parents with ‘baby boxes’ – a decorative keepsake box containing clothing and nappies sized for premature babies, as well as some gifts for baby and Mum.
None of this work is possible without generous donations, and you can donate some – or all – of the profits from your car when you scrap your vehicle with Scrap Car Comparison. For more information on how donations through our scheme works, you can read our FAQs on the subject here.