A family has thanked a trust who gave them a "lifeline" when their baby was born 13 weeks prematurely.

In October 2023, Beth Deacon-Bates gave birth to Clara who weighed in at just two pounds and three ounces.

Clara was born at Ipswich Hospital, where she was stabilised before being transferred to the NICU at Addenbrooke's.

Ipswich Star: Baby Clara arrived 13 weeks earlyBaby Clara arrived 13 weeks early (Image: Persimmon Homes Suffolk)

The Sick Children's Trust, who were chosen by Persimmon Homes Suffolk, who Beth works for, as their charity of choice, were able to offer the family accommodation at their Chestnut House 'Home from Home' throughout Clara's three-week stay at Addenbrooke's.

This allowed the family to be close to their newborn baby, as well as providing Vinnie and Eddie, their older children, some entertainment.

Beth said: "It was a lifeline for us as a family, it meant we could all be together and be close to Clara.

Ipswich Star: The family with ClaraThe family with Clara (Image: Persimmon Homes Suffolk)

"The hospital had a family room but it wasn't really designed for older children, we could have meals and give the boys some normality while Clara was getting the best possible care at Addenbrooke's."

Beth's employer, Persimmon Homes Suffolk, was keen to do more fundraising for the trust, raising over £4,500.

Ian Hamilton, managing director at Persimmon Homes Suffolk, said: "We knew the charity provided vital support for families in need and everyone at Persimmon Homes Suffolk worked incredibly hard to raise money for them, not knowing that Beth and her family would be staying with them at the end of the year.

Ipswich Star: Persimmon Homes Suffolk with Beth and Clara, handing over a cheque to The Sick Children's TrustPersimmon Homes Suffolk with Beth and Clara, handing over a cheque to The Sick Children's Trust (Image: Persimmon Homes Suffolk)

"We are delighted we have been able to help such a worthy cause, and that Clara is now safely at home with her family.

Abi Corbett from The Sick Children's Trust, added: "I want to say the biggest of thank yous to the team."