Pouring rain could not dampen the spirits of children and families on a charity toddle yesterday.
More than 300 people enjoyed the sponsored walk to raise funds for Newcastle Freeman Hospital’s children’s heart unit.
The annual Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) event was at Close House Hotel and Golf Club, at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland.
Three races were held during the day and many of the toddlers had received treatment at the children’s heart unit at the Freeman.
Little Isabelle Mannion, who is just 20-months-old, had her life saved by medics at the unit after she was born with a hole in the heart and a chronic lung condition. Her parents Beverley, 31, and Brendan, 32, have raised up to £300 for CHUF by doing the toddle with their only child.
Customer relations manager Beverley said: “Isabelle would not be here if it wasn’t for the treatment of the Freeman Hospital and their high-quality care.
“It is amazing how well Isabelle is doing and it is quite emotional.
“It is nice to get involved in the toddle and help raise funds for CHUF.”
It is the eighth year that CHUF’s sponsored toddle has taken place and it is the second year that it has been set in the grounds of Close House.
Last year, the toddle raised ï¿½40,000 for the charity and it is hoped that the total this year will be similar.
All money raised will go towards funding a new ï¿½2m accommodation block being built for families of children treated at the heart unit.
Susan Jackson, president of CHUF, said: “It is essential that we raise money for the accommodation block as the success of the Freeman Hospital means that more and more children from all over the UK are needing to use the children’s heart unit.”