Croydon Health Services NHS Trust’s dedicated charity is receiving help from a four-legged friend to fundraise for two new ventilators at Croydon University Hospital.
Belle, a 12-year old crossbred Falabella and miniature Shetland, aims to walk 46,000 steps over the next three days, from 15-17 September, to raise funds for Croydon Health Charity's 'Little Breaths' appeal. Belle will walk alongside her owner, Marianne Berends, who works as a CT Scanning Assistant here at the hospital.
Marianne was inspired to support the appeal after her little neice was cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Marianne says:
“The Little Breaths appeal is a cause close to my heart as my beautiful niece was unwell following her birth and spent quite a while in NICU. Donations from this walk will help to fund two additional ventilators to provide life-saving treatment for the sickest children from 0-16 years old in Croydon.”
During their challenge, the pair will make their way through Woldingham where Belle is stabled on a livery yard. The duo plan to visit local businesses along the way, including the Woldingham Saddler with their collection tin in tow. They plan on celebrating the end of their challenge with a well-deserved break in their local pub – with Belle being a fan of Guinness!
Alongside her fundraising career, Belle is also undergoing training to become a therapy pony. Once qualified, Marianna hopes that Belle will be able to spread smiles at the Hospital’s Rainbow children’s ward and care homes in the future.
If you’d like to support Marianne and Belle on their challenge, please donate on their JustGiving page here.