A MUM who lost one of her twins after a premature birth has visited pupils to share the great work done by a neonatal ward.

Pupils from Basildon Academies have been learning about the amazing work those at Basildon Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit do to help babies survive against the odds.

They were visited last week by Ashley Simons, from Basildon, who gave birth to twins Ilsa and Esme prematurely, sadly losing Esme shortly after birth.

Basildon Academies’ students met with staff from the Basildon Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is the school’s chosen charity for 2018/19.

Ashley has since founded Isla’s Journey, which provides care packages for when pregnancies don’t go to plan, and came into school to share her positive experience of Basildon NICU and the work she is now doing to support pastoral care for NICU babies and their families.

Ashley is a teacher and in her workshop she supported the students in developing imaginative ways to support their chosen local charity.

The students have developed fundraising ideas, along with a list of items that could be produced to support the baby packs and parent packs which Basildon NICU is in desperate need of.

During the session the students met Isla, now 11 months old, and spent time asking thoughtful questions about what the families of babies who spend time in NICU need.

The packs students want to produce contain items such as knitted hats, toiletries, pens and paper – all items which students felt were crucial to supporting families of babies who are admitted to NICU.

Year eight pupil Neve Croft said: “Ashley was a real inspiration and an amazingly strong person. She has done so much to raise awareness for premature births and woman facing difficulties through pregnancy.”