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Countess of Chester Hospital Babygrow Appeal hits its £2.4m target

The money raised will pay for a state-of-the-art neo natal unit

The Countess of Chester Babygrow Appeal has reached its £2.4 million target

The Countess of Chester Babygrow Appeal has reached its £2.4 million target.

The money will pay for a new state-of-the-art neonatal unit at the hospital that ‘will provide the very best facilities’.

The appeal was launched in 2013 with the support of many Chester and Ellesmere Port businesses and over the last four years has seen thousands of people take part in fundraising events such as the annual Santa Dash and Chester Marathon to help reach the £2.4 million target.

In 2016 Chester resident and BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin raised £17k for the appeal when she took part in a celebrity special of ITV1’s The Chase.

Head of fundraising Lesley Woodhead said: “We are so happy to have concluded our appeal for £2.4 million and plans are now being drawn up to create a neo natal unit that will provide the very best facilities for those that need them.

“We have had so much support from individuals, businesses and the community across Chester we are really grateful and could not have done it without you. We look forward to sharing our plans in 2018 and wish all readers a Happy Christmas and a healthy new year!”

Friday, December 8 saw the annual Sportsman’s Lunch take place for the Babygrow Appeal at The Countess Charity, raising a fantastic £13,000.

Supported by Hillyer McKeown and the O2 Business Centre Rainford and held at the Crowne Plaza Chester the event saw more than 300 local business men and women in attendance.

The Countess of Chester Babygrow Appeal has reached its £2.4 million target. PICTURED: Hanna Clarke, vice chair of the Babygrow Committee Denis Stevenson, former Liverpool FC goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar and partner at Hillyer McKeown Richard Burnett

Partner at Hillyer McKeown Richard Burnett was thrilled to have met one of his sporting heroes at the event.

He said: “We are proud to have supported this year’s Sportsman’s Lunch which raised £13,000 for one of the region’s most worthy causes, the Countess Charity’s Babygrow Appeal. It’s not often that you get to dine with one of your footballing heroes, Bruce Grobbelaar! Thanks to everyone who helped to make this event such a success.”

The fantastic amount of money was raised through ticket sales, table prize, raffle and auction. Raffle prizes included a Tag Heuer Formula One watch donated through Babygrow supporter Ben Spanton from David M Robinson Jewellers, signed Gary Barlow album and print, various sporting memorabilia and of course a cuddly toy.

The £13,000 raised takes Babygrow to their £2.4 million target. Lots of plans are under way to progress the enhancements to the current neonatal facilities. Further details will be released in the New Year.

Business development manager from the O2 Business Centre in Rainford, Lauren Dickson, said: “Myself and the team from the O2 Business Centre in Rainford really enjoyed the event. We are very proud to have been a sponsor and to have helped support such a worthwhile charity in hitting its fundraising target. The venue was very plush, it was a cracking Christmas dinner and the guest speakers were excellent.”

A big thank you goes to vice chair of the Babygrow Committee Denis Stevenson of Rowlinsons Solicitors and committee member Alex Walters from NatWest Bank for their help and support in organising the event.

Both Denis and Alex are committed to continuing to supporting the Countess Charity and will once again be hosting the Sportsman’s Lunch in 2018 for the Memory Lane Project.

To find out more about the Memory Lane Project or how you can get involved with next year’s event please contact Hanna Clarke corporate and events fundraising manager on 01244 366397 or email

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