A regional newspaper has helped raise £1 million which will benefit premature and critically ill children in Bristol.
The Bristol Evening Post supported Cots for Tots which has seen the target of £1 million reached in 17 months through people taking part in various fundraising events.
The appeal was launched to expand the neonatal intensive care unit at St Michael’s Hospital so that fewer sick and premature babies have to be transferred out of Bristol for lifesaving care.
Post editor Mike Norton, said “To raise £1 million in a just over a year, during the worst recession in living memory, is an extraordinary achievement. And the organisers very much acknowledge that the Evening Post’s support has been crucial to the appeal’s success.
“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has worked on Cots for Tots stories, pictures and pages. I particularly want to thank photographer Jon Kent, whose amazing picture launched the campaign, and health reporter Vicki Mathias, who has worked tirelessly to publicise the appeal. Vicki’s commitment has been exemplary.”
On 26 March staff from the Post will have the opportunity to view the family accommodation block that much of the £1 million will pay for.
Since the Cots for Tots Appeal was launched, more than 114 people have done skydives, 130 have abseiled and more than 250 have run for the cause.
The funds have so far paid for an extra four cots which were opened in the city centre unit in January.
As well as this the finishing touches are being made to Cots for Tots House, for the families of babies being cared for at the hospital.
Added Mike: “News that we’d hit the Cots for Tots target came on the day that the Evening Post was shortlisted in the Regional Daily Newspaper of the Year category of the 2012 Newspaper Awards. Another great achievement.”