An annual Christmas shopping event, which usually takes place at Barton Village Hall, has gone virtual this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The event, hosted by long-time Baby Beat supporter Rachel Lees with the support of her husband and family, will this year take place online with all proceeds going to the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals’ maternity and neonatal charity.
Local people are being encouraged to help raise funds from the comfort of their own homes by purchasing a range of handmade gifts ahead of the festive season. Taking place via a Facebook group, stallholders will be posting information about their products and there will be plenty of special offers available.
Organiser Rachel Lees said:
“I received exceptional support from the maternity and neonatal teams when I lost my baby Joseph, 5 years ago. This event is always a great success, and while it’s unfortunate that we can’t hold it face-to-face this year, we wanted to ensure it still went ahead to raise vital funds for Baby Beat. The charity funds some amazing equipment and projects on the maternity and neonatal units and for me and my family, it is a chance to give back after the staff supported us so well during our time there. I would encourage people to join the group, take advantage of some exclusive offers from local stallholders and spread the word to their family and friends. What better way to round off a difficult year than to buy some lovely gifts from local businesses with the proceeds going to such a wonderful cause!”
Rachel has raised an incredible £16,000 for Baby Beat to date – funds which have contributed to a wide range of vital improvements for the benefit of expectant mums, their babies and loved ones.
Temporary Baby Beat Manager, Cathy Skidmore, said:
“Rachel is an absolute star. Her support over the years has been invaluable, and we are so grateful to her for striving to make this event happen despite all of the restrictions. It is so important to us to keep providing this support to mums like Rachel, and we would be so appreciative of any purchases made to support us at what is a very challenging time for charities. Thanks also to all of the stallholders who have already offered their products – Christmas is the time of goodwill and you are all proving that with your generosity.”
There are over 300 members in the Facebook group so far, with 15 stallholders already signed up to take part.
If you would like to make a donation to Baby Beat by doing some Christmas shopping, you can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/270336671056087/. Or you can donate direct to Rachel’s Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josephsterlinglees.