As this year's Jessops Superheroes draws to a close, we're featuring our third and final superhero of the Jessop Wing, Lisa Lincoln. Lisa recently finished her secondment to the charity funded role of Family Support Sister at the end of May 2021.

This very special role provides continuity to parents and families, as well as a constant source of emotional and practical support during their journey at the Jessop Wing.

Your support, whether it’s donating to the Jessop Wing or fundraising, helps us to continue to fund this important role at the Neonatal Unit.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

“I’m a mum as well as a Neonatal Sister working on the Neonatal Unit. I love the outdoors and spend many hours either walking my dog or running. I’m very sociable and am lucky to have a good network of friends. I would generally meet up regularly with them and have adapted during covid to meet friends and dog walk at the same time.”

How did you get into the role of Family Support Sister?

“I’ve worked in neonatology for nearly 30 years and love my job. I have both adult and paediatric nursing qualifications and have completed various other courses to enhance my role as a neonatal nurse.

"The role of Family Support Sister became available as a secondment for twelve hours per week and after a successful interview I started at the end of June 2020.”

What support does the Family Support Sister give parents during their time on the Unit?

I introduce myself and my role to as many parents as I can, aiming to identify their needs and provide support. I offer face to face support, practical advice, refer to the psychologist, and access the family fund to help with commuting from out of Sheffield.

“Sometimes parents just want a drink and a chat, so I am able to spend time with them and give them time that the nurses working clinically don’t always have. I have increased the profile of the charity-funded messaging system, vCreate, so that all babies are put onto it. It is a secure platform where we can send photos and videos to parents. This has been invaluable when there have limitations on visiting due to COVID-19, as it enables parents to share updates with the rest of the family.

“I support parents promoting skin to skin contact with their baby which has many proven benefits. It helps bonding, improves brain development, and helps breast milk production. During my post I have developed written guidelines for staff and parents to support them in taking babies out of incubators for skin to skin. These are available in every room.

“Recently I was able to support a patient due to have a baby at 34 weeks. To help her understand the care that her baby would receive and help to reduce her anxiety, I took a video of the Unit, incubator and other equipment that would be used to care for her baby.”

How does fundraising for the Jessop Wing help babies and their families?

My role would not exist without charity funding, and while support is available, I have the advantage of being a constant in families’ lives.

“Fundraising enables roles like mine to be developed to support parents and give them time. We are able to provide things that help parents have a memorable journey with some special treats. Presents to acknowledge Christmas, birthdays and Easter are all funded by the charity, as is the vCreate system.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“The close contact and relationships built with parents. It is a privilege to support them and give them positive memories and help them on their difficult journey."

I have thoroughly enjoyed my secondment to the post and it has been a privilege to work with so many families and feel that my input has made a difference.

To make a donation to support babies and their families at the Jessop Wing, click here.