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Non-stop badminton raises funds for special care baby unit

Monday, 15 August, 2016
Non-stop badminton raises funds for special care baby unit

A Morpeth badminton club has raised over £3,000 to help babies requiring special care in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The Riverside Leisure Centre Badminton Club hosts a fund-raising event every year to support local charities. This year, the club chose Bright Northumbria, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s charity to support the special care baby unit at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Two of the club’s members, Jack and Ben Thorpe, received care in the unit when it was located at Wansbeck General Hospital, prior to its move to the Northumbria hospital when it opened last year. Following their story, the club was keen to show their support and wanted to help make a difference to babies requiring special care in the unit today and in the future.

To raise the funds, the club challenged themselves to keep a badminton shuttlecock in the air for 24 hours. To achieve this, over 75 members took part in a series of badminton matches on Saturday 2 July. Players from as young as seven and over 70 years old came along to hit the shuttlecock and ensure it didn’t hit the ground.  

Club coach Karen Davison said: “We choose a local charity every year and we know lots of children and their families who’ve received care and support from the special care baby unit.

“The unit provides a fantastic life-saving service and we’re really pleased to have been able to support it.

“This year’s badminton fund-raiser was a fantastic event and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who took part and supported us.

“A big thank you to Riverside Leisure Centre for giving us the courts for free and to Yehlex for donating the shuttlecocks which enabled all the money we raised to go to the Bright charity.”

George Brooks, nurse consultant at the special care baby unit, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the badminton club chose to fund-raise for our unit this year.

“The funds they’ve raised will help improve the experiences of the babies in our care and their families and we’re truly grateful for all of their efforts playing and fund-raising to support the unit.”

The donation was through Northumbria Healthcare’s Bright charity which provides the extras which make a difference to patients. 

Pictured: Karen Davison (left), the Riverside Leisure Centre’s badminton coach, with club members Ben (far right) and Jack Thorpe (second right) with their mum Clare Thorpe (second left).