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Aston Hall’s Nativity Play Raises Money for NHS Charity’s Tiny Toes Appeal

Nativity stars at Aston Hall raised £180 for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s Tiny Toes appeal by selling the show’s programmes.

Children appearing in ‘Baarmy Bethlehem’ and ‘Lights, Camel Action!’ in December were inspired to fundraise by families within the school community who have spent time on the neonatal unit at Rotherham Hospital.

They included pupils Alana and Aariya Blackwell, whose sister Acacia was born at 27 weeks and five days old in August 2023, weighing just 1lb and 5oz. She required platelet and blood transfusions, plus support with her breathing.

Headteacher, Scott Holmes, said: “The Tiny Toes appeal is something which really resonated with us because a number of our school families have spent time on the neonatal unit with their babies. Alana and Aariya told us all about the care their sister Acacia received at Rotherham Hospital.

“They inspired us to back the appeal so we can help other babies and their families in the future. Many of our school children, and the children of our own staff, including my own, have spent time in hospital so we felt passionately about supporting the NHS.

“Thank you to everyone who bought one of our 200 programmes and enjoyed the shows.”

Gemma Blackwell, Aariya, Alana and Acacia’s mum, added: “The girls have loved talking about their little sister being cared for on the neonatal unit and were there for her every step of the way. Now Acacia is home, happy and healthy we wanted to do something to celebrate at school. We’re so proud that we inspired the school’s Christmas fundraising for the Tiny Toes appeal.”                                                                                                  

The charity’s Tiny Toes appeal was launched in August 2023 and aims to raise £150,000.

The unit and its caring and compassionate staff are highly praised by families, but the facilities required upgrading to ensure their excellent standard of care can continue for generations to come.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has refurbished the unit to future-proof it, with the charity continuing to fundraise in 2024 for the added extras.

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising, said: “The Tiny Toes appeal is a cause really close to all our hearts at the Trust so it’s wonderful to see school children inspiring each other to fundraise in such imaginative ways. We think Alana and Aariya and everyone at Aston Hall Junior and Infant School are amazing!

“Thanks to all our fundraisers we’ve now raised a third of our £150,000 target. We’re determined to reach our goal so we can provide the special touches which will make our neonatal unit a comforting home from home for families when they need it the most. If you work at a school, or are a parent of a pupil, we’d love you to fundraise for us too.”

For more information about how your school can fundraise for the Tiny Toes appeal, get in touch with the charity on 01709 426821 or trft.rhcc@nhs.net.

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