A charity that supports Channel Island families with premature babies has opened a third flat in Southampton.

Situated on Coxford Road, the compassionate housing acts as a home from home for families who have travelled to the mainland, as their children receive life changing care at Southampton General Hospital.

It's run by the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation (PPBF) which was founded in 2003 by triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx MBE and his wife, Jo, after the premature births of their two children.  

Mrs Priaulx told the Echo: “Twenty years ago we were living in Northampton and our son, Sebastian was born prematurely.

“The hospital was 20 miles away and it made us realise how difficult that can be for families.”

Having since returned home to Guernsey, the family made it their mission to set-up a base for families near Southampton General Hospital – who can remain with their children while they receive hospital care.

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Daily Echo:

Mrs Priaulx added: “For me, being close to the hospital is the main thing, it’s literally 200 steps from the neonatal unit.

“For families in Guernsey whose children need to receive off-island care, a flat like this is a home away from home.

“We’ve had families stay here for one year, 20 days, one week – they’ve always said it’s a life saver.

“We have our first family moving into this new flat on October 23, we just want to help anyway we can.”

Guernsey couple, Ken Acott and his wife Linda, generously donated the flat to the charity – which has had 18 months of renovation work – after learning about the work of the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.

Mr Acott told the Echo: “We’re absolutely delighted, and we’re thrilled to help such a wonderful organisation.

“We have other personal reasons that makes this support even more pertinent, some friends of ours have a granddaughter, who at the age of five weeks, was diagnosed with cancer and has spent months at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“They’ve had the issue of travelling between Chichester and London and it made us appreciate how difficult it is for families in Guernsey who have children that need to receive care in Southampton.

“So, it’s something we were happy to do.”