We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal since it launched in February 2017. What a difference a year makes!

The maternity appeal has raised £175,000 so far. All funds raised will help buy extra equipment, furnishings and ‘extras’ for the new, state-of-the-art South Lakes Birth Centre at Furness General Hospital, which opens on 14 February 2018.

The final ‘Big Push’ is now on to find the remaining £75,000 that will take our appeal to its £250,000 target. You can donate online today to support Bayb’s maternity appeal.

The impact of Bayb’s Maternity Appeal

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported our Bayb’s appeal for the new maternity unit. Their donations will have a significant impact on everyone who uses it – women, families and staff.

The Bayb’s appeal is about ensuring the safest, most comfortable environment for our newborns, their parents and visitors and the unit’s staff, who can be confident that they have the latest technology at their fingertips and the most up-to- date clinical training aids.

Some of the equipment we want to buy for the unit falls outside the remit of what the NHS is able to fund but through the appeal, we can provide it. It’s our aim to make Furness General Hospital the best place to have a baby in the whole of the country and that’s huge not just in the short term but also for the future generations of this community.”

–  Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery and Obstetrics, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

About the new South Lakes Birth Centre

  • The new £12m maternity unit is due to welcome its first women and families in early February 2018.
  • It has 14 en-suite birthing rooms, including four birthing pool rooms.
  • Mum and her birthing partner will stay in the one room until she and her baby are well enough to go home.
  • Each room is equipped with a resuscitaire should the baby need a little extra help breathing when first born.
  • The birthing rooms all have their own wall-mounted, flat screen SMART TVs. They are decorated to be as homely as possible with cots for babies that can be pulled over the bed, so mum and her newborn can maximise skin-to- skin contact.

Fundraising events and activity

One of the Bayb’s appeal’s first major fundraising events was a sell-out spring dance at Hawcoat Park Social Club. Starring local band Soul Survivors and sponsored by Ulverston-based electrical safety specialist Bender UK Ltd, it raised £5,000.

Another dance saw the Simpson family, who farm at Arrad Foot, raise a staggering £6,880.80 for the appeal when they hosted a barn dance for 250 family and friends in their sheep shed.

On a lovely sunny Sunday in May, hundreds set out on a sponsored walk to Piel Island that brought in £5,000. It proved so popular, it’s now going to become an annual fundraising fixture on Bay Hospitals Charity’s events calendar.

Others walked across Morecambe Bay and from Keswick to Barrow (the annual K2B Walk) to raise funds, including Bayb’s appeal co-ordinator Heidi Bowron. Paula Richardson, Head of Charity and Fundraising for Bay Hospitals Charity ran her first ever half marathon in Manchester to raise £500 for Bayb’s.

The maternity appeal was one of the official charities of the 2017 Tour de Furness in September.

As part of their training for the tour, staff at Barrow’s Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing gym undertook a static cycle challenge to raise additional Bayb’s funds. Pupils from St Paul’s CE Junior School, Barrow, raised over £1,000 by taking part in a sponsored ‘Big Push’ around the school playing field.

It involved the children pushing or shoving anything moveable with wheels over several laps to bring in funds, which were boosted by a pop quiz the youngsters also organised and a performance by the school choir outside the Bay Hospitals Charity office at Furness General.

Pre-schoolers from Happy Tots Nursery took part in a hospital dress-up and information day that raised £100. Residents of Ramsey Park Sheltered Housing Scheme took afternoon tea and organised a raffle to raise £511.95.

Support from businesses for the appeal

Support has poured in from local businesses, including:

Even the construction company building the new maternity unit, VINCI Construction UK, has supported the appeal through charity MedEquip4Kids, which gave more £28,000 to fund the resuscitaires.

Charitable support

We’ve had generous support from the following charitable organisations:

It was HEFF’s £16,500 which funded three birthing pools for the new unit. This means that the centre will house four, something unheard of anywhere in the country for a unit of this size.

Community involvement

A comedy hypnotism event at the Laurel and Hardy Museum and a fashion show at Ulverston Sports and Social club organised by Bayb’s volunteer Rachel Edmondson, brought in almost £2,000.

Askam mum-of- two Kirsty Satterthwaite played her part by organising a gift appeal. Through her online company Story Box, Ms Sattherthwaite gifted £314 worth of brand new Usborne children’s books for the new maternity unit. Kirsty wanted to say thanks for the care she received at the current unit when she gave birth to her daughters Ava, 3, and 18-month-old Rheya.

A special thank you

More funds were raised from another poignant thank you by BAE pipe fitter, John Herrmann. John paid £450 in an auction to have a brick laid in the new unit’s foundations, in memory of his brother, Christopher who passed away in August 2015, aged 56.

Mr Herrmann said:

“My brother led quite a sheltered life. He suffered from epilepsy, which got him down. I don’t have any children of my own so buying the brick in my brother’s name and having it as part of the fabric of the new unit is special for me.”

There was also a donation of £511 from Hilary and Alan Docker, raised from an annual garden party to celebrate the life of their late baby grandson.

Get involved in the final Big Push

Bucket collections are in place at Booths, Morrisons and Tesco. This plus funding from the Co-op’s Local Community Fund and a collection at Barrow’s Costa Coffee sees the appeal gearing up for its final push.

Along with regular sales of hand-knitted, donated baby clothes, hand-made greetings cards and other craft items, Bayb’s shows no sign of slowing down.

“We are just weeks away from the unit’s official opening and given the local support for the Bayb’s appeal, weeks away from achieving our final target. “The generosity of the local community has been incredible; thank you to everyone who has helped. I know this time of year is tough for people financially with Christmas but it would be brilliant if we all joined together for one last ‘Big Push’ to see our appeal reach its target!”

– Jackie Daniel, UHMB Chief Executive

Contact Heidi in our Barrow Charity Office to chat about how you can get involved – you can email charity@mbht.nhs.uk or call her on 01229 404473.

Donate today

  • Make a donation securely online through Justgiving
  • Text BAY05 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070
  • Send a cheque payable to “Bay Hospitals Charity” to Bay Hospitals Charity, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Ashton Road, Lancaster, LA1 4RP

Thank you for your support!