Fundraising sale in memory of baby Ellie

Melanie Finnemore, who has organised the sale in memory of her niece
Melanie Finnemore, who has organised the sale in memory of her niece

A fundraising event to raise cash in memory of a baby who died without warning is to take place in Uppingham.

Melanie Finnemore has organised the Joules seconds and returns sale to raise funds for KIDS, a specialist team of paediatric medical staff which helps transfer seriously ill children to intensive care.

Mel, 32, of Queen’s Road, Uppingham, is holding the event in memory of her niece, Eleanor (Ellie) McAusland who was healthy until she suddenly fell ill in December, aged just seven weeks.

Ellie, from Staffordshire, was taken to Good Hope Hospital, in the West Midlands, by her parents Alison and Stuart, a former maths teacher at Latimer Arts College, Kettering.

She was then transferred by the KIDS team to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

Although Ellie tragically did not survive, her parents credit the KIDS team with giving them a vital few extra hours with their baby daughter.

Ellie was later discovered to have had an undiagnosed diaphragmatic hernia, which is thought to be the cause of her death.

Now, Mel, a stonemason and firefighter, has vowed to help her cousin Stuart – a former Uppingham Hill Badminton Club player – and his wife meet their fundraising target of £7,500.

Mel said: “We were all so devastated by Ellie’s death. The family has been fundraising in her memory and this has been a great comfort to her parents. Together, Ellie’s friends and family have already managed to raise more than £5,000. The KIDS team helped get Ellie to UHNS safely and to stabilise her when she arrived.

“Even though the medical staff there were not able to save her, I know that Alison and Stuart feel so grateful to them for giving them a few more hours to be able to say goodbye to their daughter. The Joules sale will take place at Uppingham CE School in Belgrave Road. There will be lots of Joules seconds or returns clothing at very low prices and we’re hoping to have other craft and plant stalls there too.

“There will also be a raffle with some fabulous prizes. All the money we raise from tickets and the raffle will go to the KIDS team.

“If anyone wants to have their own stall in return for a donation, they should get in touch with us. We would also welcome raffle prizes.”

The event takes place on Thursday, July 18, from 6pm to 8pm. Anyone interested in having a stall or donating a raffle prize should call Mel Finnemore on 07841 908309.

Tickets, priced £3, are also available from Mel, or by dropping into Finnemore Stonemasons in Glaston Road, Uppingham.

Admission on the night will be £4 for adults, and free for accompanied children.