Teddy Bear's Picnic, Cholmondeley Castle

Tots and teddies took over Cholmondeley Castle near Nantwich for a special fundraising picnic for the One in Eleven Appeal.

Families brought their favourite teddies to the Cheshire beauty spot to help raise funds for a new neonatal unit at Leighton Hospital.

More than 1,000 visitors enjoyed a treasure hunt around the castle grounds, Punch and Judy shows, face-painting, raffles and games and a picnic amid the beautiful scenery.

Organiser Training Byte Size Ltd, a Nantwich-based business training company, has counted up the funds and the day raised a fantastic £4,300.

Victoria Kinch, from Training Byte Size, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people turn out to support this great cause, enjoy the weather and have a lovely day with their families.

“There were teddies of all shapes and sizes, and we even saw a baby dressed as a teddy bear!

“Everyone worked really hard to make this event happen and we hope to have raised a fantastic amount for the appeal.”

Local professional photographer Kirstie Edwards also donated her time to take photos on the day.

Around 3,000 babies are born at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust every year and one in eleven need additional support – ranging from a few hours of special care to a few weeks in an intensive care unit.

The Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity One in Eleven Appeal aims to raise £1m to expand the neonatal unit at Leighton Hospital and enhance facilities, providing more space and comfort for families during such an emotional time.

Appeal fundraising manager Laura Bailey said: “The existing neonatal unit is not big enough for the demands that will be placed on it in the future. A bigger, more modern facility will ensure that the best possible care continues to be available for babies and their families in the future.

“The organisers and everyone that attended the Teddy Bear’s Picnic have helped take us a step closer to making that happen.”

(pics by Kirstie Edwards)

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