Kind hearted Dearne visitors, staff and patients at Barnsley Hospital have raised more than £11,000 towards the cost of a new special care baby unit.
They have donated £11,522.63 since an incubator was placed at the entrance to Barnsley Hospital on November 17 last year, which marked World Prematurity Day.
The incubator has been converted into a giant money box as part of Barnsley Hospital’s Tiny Hearts Appeal, which aims to raise £1 million to build a state-of-the-art neonatal unit.
The unit will be based next to the Barnsley Birthing Centre, meaning babies will not have to be exposed to different environments and different temperature changes, nor will they have to be taken into an elevator if they need special care.
Diane Wake, chief executive of Barnsley Hospital, said the money box has been very popular with hospital visitors.
She added: “Since its launch, it has received many positive comments from staff, patients and the public and has proved to be a real hit and vocal point of conversation.
“Children stop to put their pocket money inside, and parents explain to their children that they were once cared for in an incubator.
“Everyone has a story to tell, and they often share these with us.
“We all know someone who has had a baby or is due to have a baby and this is a chance to raise funds for Barnsley Hospital and support the build of a brand new home for Barnsley’s special care babies.”
Premature babies are underdeveloped and have to be given extra help for their tiny bodies to cope with the outside world, and can spend between 13 and 14 weeks on the unit.
The care on the unit is focused around allowing babies to fully develop and the current unit needs to be updated and expanded to allow parents to have proper bonding time with their babies.
For more information about the appeal and any of the fundraising activities contact 01226 431915.