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Taken from Teesdale Mercury 24/07/2015
Mum aims to raise £500 by completing Great North Run
A MUM is taking on the Great North Run to raise enough money to buy a “virtual baby” to help educate other parents about the dangers of shaking small children.
Jessica Stephenson, who runs the charity Charlee’s Angels, is hoping to start running information sessions for new parents on how to deal with stressful situations like crying in order to cut the risk of shaking babies.
She started the charity, which aims to prevent more cases of shaken baby syndrome (SBS), following the death of her nephew Charlee Cameron, from Gainford, in 2011.
She said: “It’s a really taboo subject so people aren’t educated about it but I think it’s important for people to know.
“I’m sure a lot of people will think it doesn’t apply to them but people need to realise that when people shake babies they don’t set out to abuse that child.
“It can be anyone and it could be someone who gets frustrated because of something like crying.
“Learning coping mechanisms for crying is so important. I was 17 when I had my little boy and I used to hide in the corner thinking why is he crying, but I knew I had people to turn to who could help.”
When the virtual baby is shaken parts of its head light up to show which areas would be damaged in a real infant.
It comes with a programme which Ms Stephenson hopes to deliver in village halls and at events around Teesdale.
She also plans to use the doll to make online educational videos which will be posted on the blog she has started to raise awareness about the issues.
She added: “It’s something that would be incredibly hard for me to demonstrate with the doll but if it can save babies then that counts for something.”
The doll costs £500, which she is hoping to raise by tackling the Great North Run in September.
She will be doing the run with seven other family members who are also raising money for Charlee’s Angels.
Todonate visit www.justgiving.com/JessiStephenson