Stawell residents urged to support Red Nose Day

This year SIDS and Kids New South Wales and Victoria is asking members of the community to put their best nose forward and make a donation on Red Nose Day.

Renae, Skye and Jo wear red noses to promote Red Nose Day.

Renae, Skye and Jo wear red noses to promote Red Nose Day.

Saying G'day the red nose way by buying a $3 Red Nose on June 27 will help SIDS and Kids provide vital services.

Each year, more than 3,500 Australian families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child. SIDS and Kids New South Wales and Victoria provides education as well as support for those families, with face to face counseling, 24 hour telephone support and through raising much needed awareness. This year, more than ever, they're calling upon the public for support.

Since establishing in 1977, the not-for-profit organisation has helped to reduce incidences of sudden unexpected death in infancy by a dramatic 80%.

In 2013, parents of 171,000 newborn babies across New South Wales and Victoria received vital information on safe sleeping, 2,660 enquiries about bedding and safe sleeping were handled, 600 new families received counseling and bereavement support while over 150 families who were already using the services continued to do so.

Funds were also allocated towards vital research into stillbirths, fatal sleeping accidents, and the unexpected death of a child, essential for insights into future reduction.

At a cost of $1.2 million each year to provide these services, of which last year SIDS and Kids New South Wales and Victoria received just $150,000 in Government funding, the organisation relies almost entirely upon the support of the community.

SIDS and Kids CEO Associate, Professor Leanne Raven said, "We'd love to thank members of the community for their generous support over the past 29 years, but remind them that our work doesn't end here.

"SIDS and Kids relies heavily on fundraising so that we can continue to provide preventative education, fund research and support bereaved families."

The significant financial contribution from the community enables SIDS and Kids to fund research projects vital to helping reduce the rate of SIDS.

Dr Emily Cohen has been awarded a three year PhD Scholarship towards research into the underlying mechanisms of SIDS. Dr Cohen's research is exciting as it will provide insights into what is happening in babies bodies when they have intra-uterine growth restriction.

"SIDS and Kids looks forward to learning more about how to identify those babies who are more vulnerable to sudden unexpected death in infancy," Professor Raven said.

SIDS and Kids is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood.

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