A Brecon woman has taken part in a 30-mile off-the-tarmac ultra-marathon to raise awareness for children born prematurely ahead of World Prematurity Day 2022, on November 17.

Laurie Higgins took on the challenge on November 5, with the goal of raising £1000 for Prince Charles Hospital’s neonatal unit, where her son Jacob was born prematurely after only 30 weeks earlier this year.

The run saw her tackle a 30-mile trail which started and finished in Cyfarthfa Castle - but in between, she tackled the heights of Pen-Y-Fan, the trails through Garwnant, and onto Beacons Reservoir, and much more.

When questioned on the importance of raising awareness for World Prematurity Day, Laurie said: "It is so important, I'll admit myself, I never thought I'd be in the situation I was, no one ever does.

"However, 1 in 10 babies are born premature, that's a huge number, we should be prepared for this scenario, but you never see anything raising awareness, or advising new parents of what could happen, 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely."

So far she has managed to raise £960 through her ultra-marathon for Prince Charles Hospital's neonatal unit - which is where her son Jacob was born on February 22nd - but donations are still more than welcome at:https://www.gofundme.com/f/prince-charles-neonatal-unit.

Now, Laurie plans to fundraise into next year, with more outdoor adventures on the horizon, stating: "I will continue fundraising into next year, with a 70-mile run along Hadrian's wall in June.

The Go Fund Me link is where I've been raising the money, however, my partner works in Beacons Laundry on St Mary's Street if anyone wants to donate to him they can too."

She now continues to raise awareness for premature births on her blog:https://www.velvetimagebrecon.com/blog, as she believes that opening up to others about her own experience can help them deal with the uncertain pressures of premature birth that afflict many across the nation.

When quizzed on what message she would have to people going through something similar, Laurie said: "It's hard, it will be hard, but we are stronger than we think, our babies are stronger than we think.

"Look after yourself, ask questions, and don't be afraid to ask even more questions.

"It's ok to feel scared, the NICU nurses will become your family, and support, this is only the beginning of your incredible journey as parents.

"Premature babies are warriors!"