Pauline Woods, former Kingston Hospital employee and founder of the charity Born Too Soon, has been titled MBE by The Queen for her services to parents and young people.
Pauline, who lives in Surrey, formed the charity Born Too Soon in 1985 alongside other parents and health professionals, to support premature babies on the Neonatal Unit at Kingston Hospital. Previously a member of Kingston Hospital’s Neonatal team, working as Parent Support, Pauline also supported fundraising, giving talks to schools and at events. Pauline retired in December 2018, leaving a lasting impact on the unit which provides intensive care, high dependency care and special care to babies that are born early or unwell. Pauline remains an Ambassador for Born Too Soon and is still an active fundraiser.
Born Too Soon provides information and support to parents, as well as helping to fund specialist equipment for Kingston Hospital’s Neonatal Unit and supporting bereaved families. Items recently funded by the charity include high flow oxygen ventilation equipment, which is an alternative to more invasive ventilation, and bilisoft machines to enable infants to receive treatment for jaundice. Born Too Soon’s latest and largest project is the refurbishment of the neonatal unit including new parent facilities, which is ongoing.
Pauline was recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021, published in June to mark the contributions and service of people across the United Kingdom.
Marie Richter, Neonatal Unit Matron at Kingston Hospital, said: “Pauline has been an inspiration to all of us. Her dedication and tireless efforts supporting parents on the unit and actively fundraising, has had a profound effect on the neonatal unit. She was one of the reasons I came to work in Kingston Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, after watching her support new parents. Her compassion and ability to emotionally support very worried families through what can be a rollercoaster journey, is amazing. Pauline thoroughly deserves this MBE in recognition for over 30 years of dedication to families.”