Northampton couple raises astronomical amount for local neonatal unit

Member News

Kickstarting the fundraising for the Northamptonshire Health Charity Gosset Ward Parent Rooms appeal earlier this year were Steph White and her husband, Steve. This lovely couple wanted to give something back to Gosset ward, the local neonatal unit at Northampton General Hospital, following the amazing care staff gave to their son, William who was born six and a half weeks early in August 2021.

They devised a very suitable challenge – to run a total of 48km in 21 hours starting at 01:22 am – marking the date and time of William’s birth on 4/8/21 – and complete 2.28km at 22 minutes past the hour, every hour on Good Friday, 15th April. It wasn’t so much a Good Friday as a Great Friday as thanks to overwhelming support from family and friends, many of whom took part alongside them at various points throughout the day, Steph and Steven raised a phenomenal £8,579 for Gosset ward, which has provided an amazing start to the NHS charity’s fundraising appeal.

Ahead of their event, Community Fundraiser Michelle Leighton was delighted to be invited to support them during an interview on the BBC Radio Northampton Breakfast show. The couple were talking about their experience of the premature birth of William and the specialist care and support they received from staff on Gosset.

The challenge itself saw Steph and Steven running around Moulton village in Northampton and Steph admits that even though they tried to be as quiet as possible when starting in the early hours of the morning, their neighbour came out anyway to cheer them on. As the hours and laps went on and the early hours gave way to morning, lots of people arrived to show their support. They even had a walking lap that babies could join and on which they were able to bring William along.

One of the many people who joined them for the challenge was their 12-year-old nephew, Alfie who actually ran with the couple from 10 am all the way up to when they finished at around 9:40 pm – what a superstar!  In addition to all of the wonderful donations that were made to the Just Giving page, extra funds were raised from a cake sale and raffle on the day.

Steph said, “At one of the most difficult times in our lives the nurses and doctors on Gosset Ward became our family. They gave us support, encouragement and reassurance to be good parents to William. They saved our baby’s life. We will never be able to repay them. We decided to fundraise as we wanted to show our gratitude to the ward and the hospital for their incredible care for our baby boy but we also wanted to do something to help other parents.

It was so hard leaving William in the hospital and coming home without him at the end of each day. We felt so guilty. We hope the new parent’s accommodation can relieve some of this stress for families and allow them to be closer to their babies at the most difficult times of their lives.”

On behalf of the charity, Michelle Leighton said, “It was such a pleasure to support Steven and Steph on this epic fundraising challenge. How they kept their momentum and high energy going from 01:22 am until about 10 pm at night was incredible and was a joy to watch.  Their hard work and efforts paid off and were rewarded by raising over £8,500 for a cause that means so much to them as a family. 

Their challenge was a great way to thank the Gosset Ward team for the amazing care they received when William was born and is a fantastic contribution to the Gosset Ward Parent Rooms Appeal.”

Could you take on a challenge or hold an event to help keep more parents closer to their premature babies while they are in hospital? Find out how you can get involved by visiting Northamptonshire Health Charity’s website at https://northamptonshirehealth…