Donations flooding in for KGH Twinkling Stars Appeal
Daredevil skydivers, a comic book superhero and representatives of a trade union have all raised money for the KGH Twinkling Stars Appeal.
The appeal – launched on November 6 - aims to raise £1m to dramatically improve the bereavement facilities at Kettering General Hospital for local families who have suffered the
trauma of losing their baby.
The aim is to develop a brand new bereavement room, family room, quiet room and office separated from the Labour Suite – where bereaved families can currently be surrounded by families going through the joy of childbirth.
Daredevil fundraiser Alex Buckle and his friend John Radford have shown their commitment to KGH’s Twinkling Stars Appeal by plummeting 10,000 feet from a plane. Alex, from Oundle, and John, from Kettering, did the sponsored jump on May 19 from Chatteris Airfield near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire and raised an amazing £1,050.
Alex is the brother of Chloe Turner, from Burton Latimer, who has already raised £5,550 for the appeal through an event held in October.
Chloe and her husband Chris lost their twin baby girls, Amelia and Alice, shortly after they were born last year. They are part of a group of bereaved parents who helped the hospital to
launch its Twinkling Stars Appeal to improve bereavement care facilities for its maternity unit.
Alex, a mechanic at Northants Commercials Ltd in Corby, said: “As a family we can see the need for the bereavement facilities that KGH is fundraising for and clearly this was a cause that is very close to my heart.
“Doing a skydive was extremely nerve-wracking but also very exciting and challenging and I want to thank all of the family, friends and work colleagues who supported me through sponsorship.”
Also raising money was Spiderman – aka KGH fundraising stalwart Leslie Jeffery – who has raised £1,200 for the Twinkling Stars Appeal through fundraising collections and a 40-mile bike ride.
Leslie, 66, from Kettering, has been fundraising for KGH for the last ten years and has raised £14,395 so far.
He said: “I have supported lots of different areas of the hospital over the years but the bereavement suite appeal is a really great cause and I wanted to do something to help.
“So in August I did a 40-mile bike rise from Kettering and around villages and local towns including Thrapston, Oundle, Geddington and Weekley.
"I also did other collections – including one in Kettering town centre on August 18 – and together I managed to raise £1,200.”
Over his ten years of fundraising Leslie has walked or cycled 409 miles for the hospital.
Representatives of the KGH branch of the public services union Unison have also donated £1,000 to the Twinkling Stars Appeal.
Joe McIntyre and Gamu Mhiza presented the sum to appeal fundraisers Jayne Chambers and Maxine Andrews, bereavement midwife Stephanie Fretter, bereavement assistant
practitioner Chloe Tracey and KGH chief executive Simon Weldon on December 11.
Joe said: “Every year as a branch we make a donation to charity and this year we decided to support the Twinkling Stars Appeal because improving the hospital’s bereavement care facilities will be extremely beneficial to both the local community and to our members.”
Gamu said: “A number of members of our local branch have needed the support of KGH’s bereavement team and we wanted to do our bit to support the appeal to improve facilities for
local people at a time of great need.”
Jayne said: “We just want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to the appeal so far.
“To Alex and John for their amazing skydive, to Leslie for his continued hard fundraising efforts and collections and to Unison for supporting the hospital’s main fundraising focus this
The support of local businesses will be hugely important to the success of the appeal, say organisers.
Jayne added: “This is a major opportunity for local businesses to show their support for families who will go through the heartbreak of losing their baby.
“We are asking businesses to consider choosing Twinkling Stars as their charity of the year so that team building events such as sponsored walks, runs, climbs or fun days can help
support the appeal.
“Having a strong local focus will mean employees know they are doing their bit for their local community and hospital. It boosts staff morale and is a great example of corporate social engagement.
“It also offers the chance to generate positive publicity for your company, and demonstrates your brand values to employees, customers, and other business associates.
“We will also work with companies to develop an employee engagement strategy that demonstrates mutual commitment to the partnership.”
To support the appeal directly contact Jayne Chambers on 07974 259343 or Maxine Andrews on 01536 491375 or email them at [email protected] or [email protected] Alternatively you can visit the KGH Charity Fund page on the KGH website, the KGH Charity Facebook page or the Virgin Giving Twinkling Stars appeal page.