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Chorley couple raise over £16,000 for Royal Preston Hospital’s neonatal unit

Posted on - 27th June, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Chorley News, Fulwood, Health, Preston News, Proud Preston, Sharoe Green
Neil and Rachel (second and third from the right) with NICU staff. Pic: LTH
Neil and Rachel (second and third from the right) with NICU staff. Pic: LTH

A couple from Chorley have raised more than £16,000 for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Royal Preston Hospital’s Sharoe Green Maternity Unit.

When baby Eva Williams arrived three months earlier than expected, weighing just 1.5lbs, mum and dad Rachel and Neil Williams stayed by her incubator for 99 days on the unit. 

To thank the staff, they have bought two new incubators and three new adjustable cots after raising just over £16,000 for the charity, Baby Beat by organising a black tie ball.

Read more: Opinion: Why we need our new hospital to remain in Preston

Neil, a serving army officer and Rachel, an area manager for TSB planned the event during their time in NICU waiting for Eva to reach 4lbs so she could go home.

Neil said: “We wanted to thank the staff for all the care they gave Eva.

“We thought we might be able to raise around £8,000 to £10,000 so to raise as much as we did has been quite overwhelming. We are incredibly grateful to our families, friends and the 30 NICU staff members who bought tickets to attend the ball.

“We’re also indebted to those unable to attend but who donated the Just Giving page we set up online, the local businesses that supported the ball’s auction and raffle and Manchester’s Centurion Lodge and Chorley’s Blainescough Lodge for their generous donations. As well as the cots and incubators, we were also able to buy two new microwaves for staff to replace their broken ones.”

Read more: Devoted Uncle takes on three-day run to celebrate late niece’s 10th birthday

Neil (left) and son Noah with Neil’s best friend Liam Foy at the fundraiser. Pic: LTH
Neil (left) and son Noah with Neil’s best friend Liam Foy at the fundraiser. Pic: LTH

The couple, who have a 10-year-old son, Noah, held their ball at Preston’s Marriott Hotel.

Vocal duo, Alex and Lewis Birtwell, known as the Birtwell Brothers donated their time while swing singer, Paul Guard joined the entertainment alongside a table magician who waived his fee.

Dan Hill, who is head of Lancashire Teaching Hospital Charities, of which Baby Beat is part, said: “Neil and Rachel’s donation is absolutely amazing. We are extremely grateful.

“The three cots and the microwaves have already been delivered to NICU, which admits between 400 to 500 babies annually. The two incubators have been ordered and should arrive shortly. 

“All the equipment will make a big difference to staff, babies and their parents.”

To find out more about Baby Beat you can visit their website.

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