A South Yorkshire hospital has launched its biggest-ever campaign - with the hope of raising £1 million for a ward to look after some of the region’s most poorly newborn babies.
The Tiny Hearts Appeal aims to fund a new special care baby unit, offering state-of-the-art facilities for premature infants, at Barnsley Hospital.
The campaign is to be fronted by One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, whose mum Johannah gave birth to twins at the hospital in February.
Premature babies can spend up to 14 weeks on a special care ward, and the current unit needs to be expanded to allow parents to have proper bonding time with their babies.
Cash will be spent on incubators and resuscitation equipment, as well as double beds and homely furniture for families who need to stay at the hospital.
The hospital’s charity is urging people to organise fundraising activities, and a bake-off campaign has been set up for supporters to hold mini cookery competitions.
Special ‘Born in Barnsley’ merchandise is also on sale, and a social media campaign will encourage people to donate £1 each towards the appeal.
Katie Cartwright, fundraising manager at the charity, said: “We are delighted to launch this campaign – our biggest ever.
“With the public’s support, we are confident we’ll be able to raise the £1 million needed for a fantastic new unit.”
Katie said the revamped ward will ‘make a massive difference’.
“An average pregnancy should last 40 weeks and when babies are born early it leads to a huge change in family plans.
“Not only do families have to deal with the stress of possibly losing their new baby, but they have to deal with the practical implications of their baby living on the unit.
“I encourage everyone to get involved or to give what they can.”
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