Playtime for young hospital patients just got a whole lot better after a team of rounders fanatics from Burnley raised £700 to provide a truckload of new toys.
The fund-raising idea was the brainchild of Vanessa Woodall, Jane Dewhurst and Joanne Baldwin who, supported by Janet Roundell, set up Getin2...Rounders, a project run in partnership with Burnley Leisure and Burnley Rounders Club.
The Getin2...Rounders girls were inspired to raise funds for the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital Children’s Ward in memory of seven-week-old son Shay Pilling who sadly died as the result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2016.
Shay's grandma Avril Pilling said: “Vanessa, Jane and Joanne - all keen rounders players and old school friends - came up with the idea of donating raffle funds raised during the season in memory of Shay.
“Knowing that other families will benefit in memory of Shay is very comforting. We are so grateful to everyone involved. Thank you.
“Christy, Shay’s mum, is absolutely overwhelmed by the kind and thoughtful gesture, as we all are. No parent should have to wake up and find their child not breathing.”
Following a presentation at the Burnley Rounders League annual dinner last September, the £700 cheque was handed over to the hospital’s ELHT and Me charity for the paediatric fund, and staff have used the funds to buy an extra supply of toys to keep young patients happy.
“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome brings tragedy to around 300 families a year. There is no reason, no explanation, no cure,” added Avril
Fundraising for the Children’s Ward runs in the family after Christy set up a crowdfunding campaign which raised a magnificent £5,000 to buy lifesaving sleep apnoea monitors for the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.
“We’re really, really grateful to Avril, Christy and their family and friends,” said Children’s Ward manager Cheryl Fitzgerald.
“During the most difficult time of their lives, they have worked tirelessly and, thanks to their efforts, so many children now have a better experience when staying in hospital.”