Barnstorming Fund Raising
Barnstorming Fund Raising
With the help of toddler Alfie and their four daughters, Jill and Stuart Simpson raised a staggering £6,880.80 for Bay Hospitals Charity’s Bayb’s Maternity Appeal by hosting a barn dance at their High Farm home. The decorated lambing barn was filled non-stop as Carlisle couple Dennis and Gail Westmorland played music that fused all genres to enable everyone to strut to their favourite stuff before tucking into food by Cath’s Country Kitchen and chancing their luck in the raffle and live auction, which saw Ulverston Auction Mart’s Ross Watson in charge of the gavel.
The money raised by the Simpsons’ barn dance will be used to furnish a parents room in the new maternity unit being built at Furness General Hospital. The room will be made available to those, whose babies are too poorly or born too soon to go home and so need looking after in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). This will enable parents to be supported as a couple before leaving, and plans drawn up show the private room as more hotel suite in style than hospital side ward.
This is a cause close to the Simpsons’ heart since they welcomed Alfie into the world some seven weeks prematurely. Jill had to remain in hospital in Barrow, while Alfie, accompanied by Stuart, was whisked by ambulance to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. He spent several days there before being brought back to Barrow to spend the next seven weeks in SCBU before finally being discharged.
Jill said: “Having had to endure the indescribable pain of being separated from Alfie so early in his life, we couldn’t think of anything better than to provide funds to furnish the new unit’s parents room.”
Jill added: “ We are extremely grateful to everyone who came and to everyone who donated items for the raffle and auction, among them many local businesses that we are connected to as a family or through the farm. We are also very grateful to members of Lowick Young Farmers’ Club, who ran the bar for us and on the night donated back their agreed share of the profits.”
In another act of generosity Alfie took his first lamb to Ulverston Auction Mart, where it was awarded a first prize and made reserve champion. Its original buyer then put it back up for auction so that it could make twice the price.
Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Jill and Stuart’s donation to the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal is a fantastic gift that is set to make a real difference. We are very thankful to Jill and Stuart for their enormous effort, generosity and kind-heartedness.”
Photo: All home safe and sound: the Simpson family
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