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Bayb’s walk to become an annual event

John Murphy (centre) regales walkers with Piel Island tales
John Murphy (centre) regales walkers with Piel Island tales

[S]uch was the take-up of places for a guided walk to Piel Island to raise money for Bay Hospitals Charity’s Bayb’s Maternity Appeal that the walk is set to become an annual event even though by this time next year, the Bayb’s appeal itself will be over.

Some 100 adults and 30 children made the sandy crossing from South Walney Island to Piel led by John Murphy, who entertained walkers with a mixture of historical facts, information on wildlife and vegetation plus humorous stories from a lifetime of making the short trek. On reaching the island, John helped draw a fundraising raffle.

Proceeds from the raffle, entry fees and some sponsorship not just from the Piel Island walk but also, from the recent Bay Hospitals Charity Cross Bay Walk from Arnside to Kents Bank, as well as a legacy and other donations, now stand the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal total at £76,056.13 towards its £250,000 target.

Enjoying a well-deserved rest on Piel Island are nine-year-old Ellie and seven–year-old Rebecca Holland, of Bentham
Enjoying a well-deserved rest on Piel Island are nine-year-old Ellie and seven–year-old Rebecca Holland, of Bentham

Appeal co-ordinator Heidi Bowron, who is based in the charity’s office at Furness General Hospital, said: “Considering we only launched the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal in February, this is a fantastic sum to be at already. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support.

“When we decided to organise a walk to Piel Island, we thought it might be popular as it’s something the whole family can do together but didn’t realise just how popular it would prove. We filled all our places very quickly and so have decided to keep the walk on the Bay Hospitals Charity calendar as an annual event. Although by this time next year the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal will have run its course, Bay Hospitals Charity will still be raising funds to help make stays and treatment better for patients across the Trust’s five local hospitals.”

The Bayb’s Maternity Appeal is funding “extras” for the new maternity unit being built at Furness General Hospital. These ”extras” fall outside the remit of what the NHS is able to fund but have been added to a shopping list of items, all designed to give the new unit a real home from home feel for local families and for newborns, the best possible start in life.

To find out more and make a donation, call in to the Bay Hospitals Charity office, which is in the hospital foyer, or visit Bay Hospitals Charity’s website at www.bayhospitalscharity.org

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