Community News From Around Our Area

Online Art Auction Raises Almost £2,700 for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice

An online art auction in aid of babies and children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses has been so successful that organisers are planning a similar event for later in the year.

Young Mum, Claire Baines, raised more than double her original target for Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, coming up with the idea after the charity’s planned fundraising events for 2020 were cancelled in the wake of Covid-19.

Claire had hoped her auction would raise at least £1,000 for the hospice. As interest in the 42 lots quickly grew, she increased her target to £1,250. The event went on to raise £2,692, with lots selling for between £15 and £250.

Claire said, “I hadn’t expected to raise that much at all, but everyone was excellent, they really supported the auction. The original sales raised almost £2,500 and the final £200 was raised because people kept donating so generously to help us reach the total original value of the lots.”

The mum-of-two organised the event with the support of other parents in the hospice’s dedicated Little Fighters parents’ fundraising group.

Claire’s three-year-old son Joel has been under the care of Zoë’s Place since he was five months old. Born at University Hospital in Coventry with a laryngeal cleft – a gap between his food and windpipe – Claire was told that he ran the risk of food and liquid getting into his lungs.

When he was just two weeks old, he had an operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to attempt to repair his cleft and a tracheostomy was fitted to give him a safe airway. Joel still remains nil by mouth and breathing with the aid of the tracheostomy while doctors continue to rectify his defect.