A COUPLE who set up a charity to thank the hospital who cared for their premature baby have raised £10,000 so far this year.
Julie and Shaun Butler launched Bailey’s Bike Ride four years ago, after their son was born two months prematurely, weighing just 4lb 4oz.
The couple were so grateful for the care Bailey received in the special care baby unit at Ashington’s Wansbeck General Hospital that they decided to hold an annual bike ride from Blyth to Whitley Bay and back, to raise money for the unit as their way of thanking staff.
The charity has now raised in excess of £33,000.
Julie said: “We are delighted to have raised £10,000 this year – it has been an accumulation of of the hard work of some of our dearest friends, friends involved in Little Angels Ball, eight friends who undertook the C2C back in July and raised nearly £3,000, and, of course, the Bike Ride in September raising the remainder,” she said.
“Without the involvement of these amazing people, we would not be in the position we are now, and ready to make donations to two of our most special causes, Wansbeck SCBU and the Teardrop Group.
“We are hoping to purchase a C-PAP machine and await the SCBU confirming which they will need, but most of all hope to make the donation prior to Christmas - I’d like to deliver it to them at the unit in a bow.
“To have achieved the £10,000 this year has been amazing and given me the push I have needed to carry on doing what we do.”
Julie is now planning events for 2012, including another Little Angels ball in June.
Money raised so far by the couple has paid for the opening of a bereavement room at the Woodhorn Lane hospital.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/baileysbikeridecyclists2011