Being a Dad in a neonatal unit is a tough job and one that sometimes can feel unrecognised. We recognise that a dad’s journey may differ to that of mum’s and have dad volunteers on hand to chat with. Sam Blyth is one such dad and here we speak with him about volunteering at the Foundation. All our resources to support dads can be found here.
Sam Blyth – Veteran Dad – Peer Support Volunteer
Dad of William ex 25+4 weighing 750g now 4 years old and Penelope ex 32 weeker now 2 years old
How long have you been a Volunteer for LLTF and what is your role?
I’ve been an active volunteer for 3 months. I participate in a weekly Dads group at the Royal Women’s Hospital NICU in Parkville, Melbourne.
Why did you begin volunteering?
Both of my children were born pre term and spent time in NICU. I wanted to use the experience to help families that are going through this challenging time.
Briefly, describe the work you do in your volunteering role?
The Royal Women’s Hospital runs a weekly Dads group every Wednesday evening. It’s an opportunity for the Dads in the NICU to get together and have a chat. As an experienced Dad I assist the hospital staff in a peer support role for the group.
What do you get out of volunteering?
The experience of parents going through NICU can be overwhelming, plus being a dad during this time brings its own unique challenges. To be able to support Dads going through this and help avoid some of the stress and isolation that goes along with it I find very rewarding.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering?
The medical advances of treating these babies is incredible, but I believe our community is still playing catch up in supporting the families. To be able to support the parents going through this experience I believe helps all involved. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering for Life’s Little Treasures Foundation to provide this assistance.