A group of fire fighters from Gretna have said ‘thank you’ to the Special Care Baby Unit at the Cumberland Infirmary by raising more than two thousand pounds for them.
One of the firefighters, Stephen Allen, asked his friends to join him in a challenge to raise the cash after his daughter was born three months prematurely and spent nine weeks in the unit closely monitored by the staff there.
Stephen said: “The care was more or less one-to-one, they are so dedicated. They talked to us all the time to let us know what was going on and they were so considerate, they’d ask if we had eaten and things like that. The staff let us help with feeding Francesca and be as hands on as possible, they were so kind. I couldn’t fault the care they gave Francesca or myself and my partner, Joanna.”
Stephen and Joanna decided that once they were all home and things had settled down they’d like to do something to raise money for the unit to say thank you.
Stephen explained: “It’s weird because we all know the Special Care Baby Unit is there but until you need it you have no idea how precious that service is. So I decided I would do a challenge and I wanted to make sure it was a proper challenge. I’m a retained firefighter at Gretna and so me and three of my firefighting colleagues decided that we would walk the 69 miles of the Cumbrian way …in two days!
“We walked from Ambleside fire station to Gretna fire station along the Cumbrian way. On day one we finished by scaling Skiddaw – that was a massive in itself and we still had another day! When we finished in Gretna we were all really proud of ourselves and so very grateful to all the people who had sponsored us.
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported me and my partner while Francesca was in hospital; your kindness really helped us through that very difficult time and also to everyone who sponsored us and gave us your hard earned cash. Altogether we raised £2350.97.”
“Joanna and I are so very grateful to the staff for their care and compassion and we hope this money will help other families in our position and make sure that a difficult time is made a little easier.”