About Us


When Lord astor of Herver died he left £75,000 in his estate to help with the building of a new Neo-Natal Unit in Aberdeen.  This money was to be made available only if the Health Board Agreed to take on the running costs of this Unit and the upkeep.

Fundraising for the new Neo-Natal Unit began in 1984 when a small group of ordinary parents got together with the aim of thanking the doctors and nurses at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital whose skills had helped their little ones survive!  Friends of the Special Nursery was born.

The first aim of the Friends of the Special Nursery was simply to raise money to buy a new incubator and create a parent and child room.  Their efforts snowballed and public support helped along by a newspaper campaign meant that more money than anticipated was being raised and the Friends of the Special Nursery decided to help fund a whole new Neo-Natal Unit at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.  Two years later the group had raised a phenomenal £900,000!!!

Building work started in 1986 and the new 40 bed Neo-Natal Unit was opened on 31st May 1988 with an official opening on 3rd November 1988 by Lady Astor of Hever.  When the Unit opened the total money raised was £1,037,000!

Our Members

Since their establishment in 1983 countless members have joined to lend their support to Aberdeen’s Neo-Natal Unit and the good work carried out by this organisation has seen that fundraising remains at the forefront of its activities.  Indeed, fundraising continues today and as a charity we are very lucky in the donations we receive, from all areas in Grampian including the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland. The committee is mainly made up of Mums who have had babies in the neonatal unit and 3 members of staff, who selflessly give up their own free time to assist with fundraising and determining the priorities for funding by Friends of the Special Nursery.

Friends of the Special Nursery are currently hoping to re-start a scheme where one of the committee members comes into the parent sitting room in the Neo-Natal Unit to talk to Mum’s and Dad’s who currently have babies in the Unit.  Sometimes just someone who’s been through the Unit and understands the highs and lows of having a baby in Neo-Natal care can be an invaluable source of support.


Apart from the high tech items which Friends funds, a wide range of useful items are currently funded by the charity.  These include:

  • Baby clothes in all sizes!  Yes, babies in the Neo-Natal Unit can be dressed in their own clothes as soon as their condition allows!
  • A new scanning machine;
  • Soft sheets for our tiny babies;
  • Digital camera and monthly bill for paper and ink for the associated printer to allow pictures of the babies to be given to parents, especially important is to capture the moment a parent can have that first cuddle with their baby.
  • Cold water drinks facility for parents.
  • Upgrading and redecoration of three parents bedrooms and reception area.
  • Consideration is given to requests for additional equipment for medical staff, ie monitoring equipment and computer software.

All requests for funding assistance are considered by the Committee!

The Committee

  • Kirsty Mills-Bishop (cox)  –  Chairperson
  • Fiona Willox -vice chairperson
  • Colleen Angus
  • Julie Wilson
  • Shona Coull
  • Aileen Duncan
  • Annie Robertson

The current committee meets every 6 to 8 weeks to discuss fundraising and any other items we are asked to get involved in.  All monies donated to Friends of the Special Nursery is used to benefit the Neonate and their families ensuring that their stay in the Unit – no matter how long or short – is as comfortable as possible..

None of this would be possible without public support!