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Warwickshire golf club swings into fundraising action for neonatal charity

Gary Burdett Whitefields Golf Club Team CaptainA Warwickshire golf club is going a fairway to support a local neonatal charity after making the cause its nominated charity for the year.

Whitefields Golf Club, based at Thurlaston near Draycote Water, has announced its year-long support for the Grace Research Fund – a Coventry and Warwickshire charity which funds research into premature births and the best forms of neonatal care.

The club has a long history of supporting local and national causes, which include the Warwickshire Air Ambulance and Macmillan Nurses, but it was this year’s club captain, Gary Burdett, who suggested the Grace Research Fund as its designated cause for 2016.

A number of events will be held at the course over the year in order to raise valuable funds including tournaments, raffles and competitions – and even a night time event which will see golfers compete in the dark.

And to demonstrate how the donations raised will directly benefit the charity and help babies and their families, Gary was given a tour of the neonatal unit at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) by Grace Research Fund neonatal nurses.

Gary, whose grandson was born eight weeks prematurely and cared for at the unit, said the tour was a poignant reminder of why the golf club is lending its support.

“When my daughter went into labour eight weeks before her due date, her son, Robert, was treated and cared for in the unit for six weeks,” he said.

“Our whole experience with the staff was really positive. There is a fantastic infrastructure in place which ensures that babies are best cared for and families receive emotional support that is so valued.

“Revisiting the unit and meeting families during what can be a difficult time was a reminder of why it is so important to fundraise for the Grace Research Fund.

“Whitefields and all its members are fully behind the cause and we are already working towards a number of social events and competitions, including raffles and quizzes.”

Neonatal nurses Jade Matthews and Chelsea Bromage, both involved with Grace Research Fund, showed Gary around the unit where he met prematurely-born babies and their parents.

Among those on the unit were Kerri Poultney and Clayton Lavery, whose son, Taylor, was being cared for after having been born at just 27 weeks, weighing 2lbs 5ozs.

Jade said: “The Grace Research Fund provides a wealth of support to babies and their families across Coventry and Warwickshire, so it is rewarding when families give back and fundraise for the charity.

“We were delighted to give Gary a tour of the unit and explain the work we do every day –

I’m sure it brought back a lot of memories for him.

“Generosity such as that of Whitefields Golf Club is what fuels the charity and enables it to keep working towards the advancement of neonatal care, and we look forward to keeping the club updated over the year with how their donations help babies and their families.”

Photo: Jade Matthews, neonatal nurse, Gary Whitefield, Whitefields Golf Club captain, Chelsea Bromage, neonatal nurse, and parents Clayton Lavery and Kerri Poultney

Tue 15 March 2016, 13:54