Mothers who bonded when they gave birth to premature babies have donated £26,000 to the unit that saved their lives.

Rebekah Habib, from Radlett, and Audrey Mitchell, from Bushey, spent five years raising money for the Special Care Baby Unit at Watford General Hospital.

Their team, ‘HertsPrems’, was formed after Rebekah gave birth to Sorayah at 36 weeks and Audrey had Liliana at 23 weeks in 2012.

Since then, they have held dinner dances, summer fetes, buggy walks and Zumbathons to give back to the team.

Mrs Habib, 32, said: “It has given us a sisterhood, I am the godmother of her children and she is the godmother of mine.

“It just shows people you can make good friends even when you’re going through the worst time of your life.

“You name it, we’ve done it, and the hard work pays off.

“Other parents have got involved with their own fundraisers too, adding to our donation to the hospital.

“We only tried to raise £1,000 the first year but it really took off.”

Mrs Habib was widowed after her husband, Gulum, died of a blood disorder the day before her 20th week scan, the stress of which made her give birth early.

Sorayah weighed 3lbs 5oz and was born by emergency Caesarian due to complications with the umbilical cord.

“Sorayah was in hospital the first month of her life,” Mrs Habib said.

“That’s where I met Audrey, her baby was born at 23 weeks so a much more extreme case.

“We left around the same time and instead of giving just a thank you, we wanted to do something a bit more.”

Both Audrey and Liliana are now thriving.

Mrs Habib has kept the charity going, despite having health problems herself including needing open heart surgery.

She said: “It’s been a tough few years but myself and my daughter both doing very well now.”

HertsPrems has received more and more recognition as time has gone on.

Company Mojomums helped kick-start the charity through promoting them to their large website audience and giving the two mothers direction of what to do.

Mrs Habib said: “We received a lot of support from mojo mums from the beginning and we blog for them about our experiences now.

The mothers also collaboratively won a ‘Women of Purpose’ award in October for their efforts.

“We would love to become a charitable enterprise next. We have so much vision and so much we want to give to the parents.”

The cheque will be presented to the SCBU unit on World Premature Day on the November 17 at 4pm.

To donate to HertsPrems, visit