Runners brave winter to aid Countess of Chester Hospital's baby unit appeal


Staff reporter (Chester First)

A HOST of runners have been training in all weathers to compete in a major city event for a good cause. 

And the Countess of Chester Hospital Babygrow Appeal, which aims to raise £3 million to rebuild its neonatal unit, has once again been selected as the official charity of the Chester Half Marathon by organisers Active Leisure Events. 

Andy White, from Active Leisure, said: “We have great plans again for this year with a new route. 

“Feedback from runners last year was that they wanted to see the striking city of Chester at the start, so we have changed the route to showcase our beautiful city earlier in the race as well as at the finish. 

“We are delighted to have selected local charity Babygrow as our official race charity.

“Places are filling up fast so runners are encouraged to sign up quickly at

Lesley Woodhead, head of fundraising at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said: “Last year we had an amazing day and raised over £42,000 for Babygrow and so we are so pleased to be working with Active Leisure again.

“They put on a great day, enjoyed by runners and spectators and bring a lot of revenue to Chester as well as helping so many charities raise funds.” 

Kate Merrick, mum of twin boys Alexander and Oliver, will be running her first Chester Half Marathon on May 15.

Last year dad Daniel ran and raised almost £300 now its mum’s turn. 

The boys were born at the Countess in April 2014 by emergency Caesarean section, weighing 3lb and 4lb. 

Kate said: “From the moment my boys were delivered in theatre, a neonatal nurse was by my side. My husband went in to see the boys and the nurses brought me pictures. 

“Every day was made easier as the support we were given was unreal. 

“We will never forget one nurse rocking and singing to my boys – my heart melted’ this was not just a job but a caring passion. My boys spent three weeks in the unit and met the most caring nurses I could imagine. So come on, let’s do it for the babies!” 

See full story in the Chester Leader

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