A CASH-STRAPPED baby hospice is planning a range of fundraising events over the coming months in order to raise the funds it desperately needs to survive.

Earlier this year, Zoe’s Place in Middlesbrough warned they were in the “most challenging times” they’d ever faced and could be forced to close for two nights a week due to financial hardship, meaning they would be unable to offer emergency respite for families.

Amongst the challenge events are It’s a Knockout, The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, The Ali Brownlee Riverside 5k and 2k fun run, the Great North Run and Zoë’s Place’s very own Tour De branch bike ride challenge.

From September to Christmas, Zoë’s Place have their corporate golf day, the annual Christmas Lights Switch On, the Boundary 500 Santa Ride and a Christmas shopping trip to Meadowhall in Sheffield.

Funds raised from all the events will go towards the £1.5m needed to help keep the hospice’s six cots open all year round.

Babies who are cared for at the Middlesbrough-based baby hospice live with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, with many requiring 24 hour support and care on a one-to-one basis.

Mark Guidery, general Manager at Zoë’s Place, said the events have been organised to help keep the funds topped up throughout the year, and to help keep the cots open.

“It is our policy to never turn a child away, whether they are from the local area, the North East region or from further afield.

“Whilst that is a policy we firmly stand by here at Zoë’s Place, we need to ensure funding continues coming into our hospice on a regular basis.

“These forthcoming events are the lifeblood of our fundraising work and is an excellent way to involve the local community and corporate supporters which is why we have purposely organised events that includes something for everyone.

“Whether you have a keen adventurous side, or prefer something closer to home, our events give everyone of any ability the opportunity to do their bit to raise vital funds to support our babies.

“Or of course you can take part in a whole host of other events in aid of Zoë’s Place such as our Smartie Tube Appeal or Paws for thought; details of which you can find on our website and social media.”

“Ensuring we can keep our doors open to these deserving babies and their families is crucial, so our fundraising team are always available to offer advice and support on how to maximise fundraising opportunities for anyone who wants to help our cause.”

Last month, the hospice launched a campaign urging everyone in the region to raise £29 each to fund one hour of vital care for a baby and family in need.

For more information on the events, call 01642 457985 or email info@zoes-place.org.uk

The events are as follows:

22nd June - It’s a Knockout at TIBS Football Club – team places are sold out but please come along to spectate and support our hospice with our many stalls and fundraising activities.

30th June - Ali Brownlee Riverside 5k and 2k Fun Run

27th July - Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

6th September - Golf Day – Romanby Golf Club

8th September - Great North Run – no charity places left but we can provide a fundraising pack for anyone with their own place from the general ballot.

17th November - Christmas Lights Switch On at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice

22nd November - Christmas Shopping Trip to Meadowhall

Ready Teddy Go! ‘Tour De Branch’ Bike Challenge – anytime, anywhere! For more information visit www.readyteddygo.online.