In November P&G, the Proud Sponsor of Mums, launched the Champion Mums' Foundation: A campaign offering hardworking mums the chance to be awarded a bursary from a whopping £150,000 pot. The only stipulation was that the award had to be used towards making a positive difference to the winners' lives as mums, to their family or to the community. Here Kirsty tells us what winning the prize meant to her...
'As I cradled my tiny baby, I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I looked down at Chloe, just four-weeks-old, dressed in a tiny white romper suit.
'She'd been born at just 32 weeks, weighing 4oz 2lbs. She was so tiny that the hospital provided special premature baby clothes and nappies - which was great as I couldn't find any to buy anywhere. She struggled to breathe and feed, but after four weeks in hospital she was well enough to come home!
'And for me and my partner, Gary, now 27, it was the happiest day ever. After that, Chloe went from strength to strength. By her first birthday in August 2011, you'd never have guessed she'd had such a difficult start!
"It's all thanks to the hospital and nurses," I said to Gary. "I want to do something to say thank you." Then I saw the article in Pick Me Up! about the P&G Champion Mums' Foundation, which was giving bursary awards away to help mums improve their life or that of their family or community.
"This is it!" I exclaimed to Gary. "This is how I can say thank you!'
'So I applied, explaining what the staff at the neonatal unit at Gloucester Royal Infirmary had done for me, and many other mothers - how the unit relied on donations of clothes, blankets and spare premature nappies. I explained how the nurses' amazing support meant my Chloe could come home after just four weeks instead of the eight weeks they'd predicted.
'I didn't really expect to hear back, but a few weeks later my phone rang...
"We're ringing to say you've been awarded a bursary of £5,000 for the hospital."
'I was delighted! I helped pick out the clothes, nappies, blankets and phototherapy lights the hospital would receive. They were all sent to the baby unit as a surprise!
'It felt great to have given the unit all these essential things. The award will make a huge difference to the hospital, and I'm so glad I applied.
'Whenever I look at my Chloe, I'm so happy I could help the hospital that helped my little girl be here with me today.'
Behind the prizeProud Sponsor of Mums P&G has been making mums' lives easier for more
than 170 years with trusted household brands such as Always, Fairy Non
Bio and Duracell. Now P&G is saying thank you to mums for all the amazing
things they do. Find out more by visiting www.thankyoumum.pg.com