Members of a jujitsu club have found a unique way of raising funds for The Baby Beat Appeal.
Gareth Baxendale, who attends Gracie Barry (GB) Preston, has designed and sold special rash guards for his fellow sparring partners, which has raised £1,535 for the neonatal unit at Royal Preston Hospital.
The fund-raiser was inspired by black belt leader Ian Fell, of Fulwood, whose daughter, Myli, was born prematurely four years ago, and Callan McGuigan, whose baby was stillborn only a few months ago.
Ian, 38, who has three children, said: “When my wife, Korina, was pregnant with our second child, there was a lot of complications. She had a really low blood cell count - it was the worse doctors had ever seen.
“Korina had to go to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital every week for blood transfusions in the womb.
“We had to prepare ourselves for the worst as our baby was not supposed to make it, but thankfully she did.
“The baby care unit at Manchester was fantastic. It had cutting edge equipment and was really well staffed. Knowing Royal Preston Hospital needed a bit more help, I decided to help raise funds.
“While we were going through all this, club members sold rash guards as a way to support us and to say thank you for the training and help I had given them.
“The training and their support got me through all of this,
“Callum has not been so lucky as us so it was even more poignant to do more fund-raising
“We have been selling rash guard vests to wear under our gi. The have got my name on it and quotes about never giving up. They are designed by Gareth Baxendale through his company Gartista, alongside Heskins Ltd, in Chorley.”