Merry Mile participants

A Merry Mile fundraiser to help build a baby bereavement suite at Leighton Hospital proved a runaway success.

More than 170 people of all ages, including mums and babies and people in wheelchairs, turned out on a frosty morning to make their way round Queen’s Park, Crewe in support of the £100,000 Lost Little Ones’ appeal.

The event was backed by security firm, Alpha Omega in Crewe, whose security personnel acted as stewards and joined with Crewe and Nantwich Lions in handing out hot drinks and mince pies.

Proceeds are being totted up but together with donations and money from Just Giving pages set up by supporters, MCH charity officials hope to put more than £2,000 into the appeal pot.

Funds will go towards building an extension to the maternity unit where grief-stricken parents can spend quiet time away from the rest of the labour ward in a non-clinical environment after suffering the devastating loss of a baby.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity manager Emma Robertson said: “To have such fabulous support from the business community is vital to us.

“Ken Lawton, Andy Taylor and the team at Alpha Omega worked so hard to help us organise the event and we were delighted to welcome more than 170 people to the Merry Mile on a bitterly cold morning.

Merry Mile baby appeal for Leighton Hospital

“Last year 66 people took part in the first event so to more than double that was just fantastic.

“And it probably would have been even more if Park Run didn’t have to be cancelled due to the frost.

“It’s still early days for the Lost Little Ones appeal but we now have the initial drawings for the new suite.

“We hope to encourage many more local people, companies and organisations to join us in making a big 2020 effort to hit the appeal target.”

Alpha Omega owner Ken Lawton said: “I was overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of people taking part.

“It was freezing but they turned out in force to run, jog or walk round the route.

“They brought their children and dogs and really got into the festive spirit wearing Santa hats.

“Their community spirit was a joy to see and we were delighted to be part of such a special day in Crewe.”

The company, which provides security at venues and big events such as the Nantwich Show, sponsored medals, raffle prizes and flyers as well as Santa hats and prizes for the best fancy dress and Christmas jumpers.

Mid cheshire hospitals charity Merry mile

Nantwich man Ken, a former kick boxing champion, also raises huge sums for charity with celebrity boxing nights at the town’s Civic Hall.

Already £14,000 has been achieved for the appeal thanks to fundraising events and cash is due in from a ‘Wear it Festive’ event when hospital staff staged their version of Christmas jumper day.

New Year fundraisers include a variety show with Cat Community radio at the Lyceum Theatre.

Anyone who would like to support the appeal is asked to call the Leighton Hospital charity office on 01270 273248.

(Pics: By Peter Robinson)

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