A COUPLE that run a first aid company are holding free courses to raise funds for a hospital after their premature baby was cared for there.

Adam and Mel Holmes of Walton Court, Laindon run ATH first aid training company, their son Austin was born prematurely at about 33 weeks and was cared for by Basildon Hospital in August 2013.

The couple will be holding free training sessions for parents with children in Chelmsford and they will be asking for donations for the hospital.

Austin is now a healthy little boy and his parents want to give something back to Basildon Hospital’s neonatal clinic that cares for premature babies after their care for Austin.

Adam, 31, said Austin’s birth was a bit of a surprise and they were not prepared at all or ready for what came next.

He added: “When Mel, 33, was taken to hospital on that day we thought that both mum and baby would be home the same day or the next day at the very latest.

“It was quite a traumatic time, Austin was taken to the intensive care unit and Mel was on the ward.

“Where Mel was on the ward she was surrounded by other mums with their babies and Austin could not stay with her as he was in the intensive care unit.

“He was only in the unit for about one week and we were lucky really in that he was a little fighter and he made it through very quickly.”

Mum and baby then came home after two weeks.

Since having Austin, the couple have gone on to have a daughter, Senna, who is now 16 months old.

Adam and Mel's company hold regular first aid training in Chelsmford, they began their work five years ago and only started with teaching people first aid and now the business had grown to include other courses such as child safeguarding.

Child safeguarding is training people who work with children to ensure they know how to identify and report possible cases of abuse and neglect.

Mr Holmes added that after spending time in the neonatal unit at Basildon Hospital the pair wanted to give something back to the hospital.

He said: "It sounds like a little thing but there are no comfortable chairs and when your spending so long at the unit it is important to have nice chairs.

"We also want to raise money for infrared technology which will help the doctors and nurses finding veins when taking blood from premature babies or when the hospital staff are putting a cannula in for a premature baby,

"The first course is scheduled for Friday September 23 at 7pm in Chelmsford and will cover infant and child specific CPR, choking, meningitis, febrile convulsions, burns and will be followed by a question and answer forum.

The courses will take place at Chelmsford Sport & Athletic Centre, Salerno Way, Chelmsford.

Further courses are planned for October 21, November 11 and December 16. The donation to Basildon Hospital is voluntary.

For more information or to book contact ATH Training on 01268 440273 or by email at info@ath-training.co.uk