A CHARITY supporting families of sick and premature babies is set to benefit from a charity boxing match in Middlesbrough.

'Punching for Pounds' will take place at Middlesbrough Sports Village tonight, and has been encouraging men from the local area with no previous boxing experience to take part and raise awareness for the local charity, Leo's.

£10 from every ticket sold at Punching for Pounds goes to the boxer’s chosen charity, and the team at G2 Events will be funding the difference to ensure the dedicated soft play sessions Leo’s currently run with Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice are funded until the end of 2019.

Chrissy Lee and Ian Gourley from Pallister Park will both be boxing at the event to raise vital funds for Leo’s, which supports families with sick and premature babies across the North East. Leo’s cares for families on the neonatal units at the James Cook University Hospital, Darlington Memorial Hospital and North Durham Hospital as well as running an array of community support services.

The charity set up in memory of baby Leo, who died after a four-hour fight for his life on the neonatal unit in 2015, also founded the world’s first Neonatal Mental Health Week in April 2019.

Punching for Pounds has now sold out and will feature a number of local artists. MC for the night is DJ Murray Mint of Britain’s Got Talent Fame.

G2 Events hosts events across Middlesbrough, including funding the soft play club in conjunction with Leo’s and Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice which offers much-needed respite to families affected by having a sick or premature baby.

Lottie King, founder and head of Leo’s, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Chrissy and Ian boxing for us as part of this event. The funds they raise will make such a difference to the families both us and Zoe’s Place care for.

“The soft play sessions open up a vital lifeline for parents following discharge from a neonatal unit. Many parents feel isolated after a neonatal stay and are concerned about germs and illnesses, having this service to offer has made a significant difference to families."

A spokeman for G2 Events, said: "From the minute we were made aware of Leo’s and what they do, we knew we had to support in some way. Ian and Chrissy have both worked tirelessly to raise money from ticket sales and sponsorships."

For further information about Leo’s visit www.leosneonatal.org.