Fundraising shoot helps to raise money for neonatal unit

Elsie Smith with the cheque for My WiSH for £1,275. Photo: My WiSH Charity.

Shooters took to the range to help raise hundreds of pounds to support the neonatal unit at the West Suffolk Hospital. 

The event saw up to 40 people take part in the Eriswell Lodge Ladies Day clay pigeon shoot which resulted in £2,550 being collected.

That money was then split between the My WiSH Charity, which supports the work of the hospital in Bury St Edmunds, and Bliss, a national charity which helps parents and families of premature or sick babies.

The day, held on July 15 at the shooting range, was organised by Melissa Smith who, with her husband Stuart, run the site which is situated on the A1065 between Mildenhall and Brandon and the money raised will continue to enhance the care at the neonatal unit.

Staff at the neonatal unit at the West Suffolk Hospital, with Melissa, Stuart, and Elsie Smith. Photo: My WiSH Charity.

The couple had their daughter, Elsie, prematurely back in April 2021 and both mother and daughter had to be conveyed to a hospital in Stevenage. They were then transferred back closer to home and spent up to a month in the care of staff at the West Suffolk before complications set in and the pair were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for further treatment.

It was the second clay shoot held at the range in aid of the neonatal unit and included a raffle, a silent auction along with a series of donations.

Melissa, who lives in Red Lodge with her husband and two-year-old Elsie, said of the event: “It was a very rainy day and a bit windy so not ideal … it was not a typical July day. But everyone turned up and they also bought plenty of raffle tickets and gave donations.

“It was a great day and everyone had such a great time. Everyone had a good laugh and a joke. They are a really good group of people.

“It’s absolutely amazing the amount we raised again and the difference the money can make. The unit at the West Suffolk is so friendly and comfortable and you get to know all the nurses and helps to make it such a great environment.”

And Melissa said her daughter is doing fine adding: “She’s a typical two-year-old. She’s a little character and she knows her own mind.”

Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for My WiSH, went to the ladies day as well as welcoming the family back into the hospital. 

She said “The day was incredible; you could tell everyone wanted to help Melissa raise as much money as possible. And it was a pleasure to invite them back again to see the difference their money has made. We can’t thank them enough for their amazing support.”

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