Andover Club Helps Special Care BabiesAndover’s biggest club has donated £3,400 to a special care baby unit to help babies access the mother’s milk they need to grow stronger.

Cameo made the grant to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester to buy two breast pumps and stands for its neonatal unit. The equipment enables mothers to express breast milk which can then be given to babies who have been born too early or who are too sick to feed directly from their mother.

The unit can have as many as 12 mothers and babies but currently has only two breast pumps and stands.

Howard Cooper, manager of Cameo in London Street, said: “The grant came from our Echo Trust charity which we support through regular collections at the club. We can nominate community causes to benefit and chose the hospital for the valuable support it gives to babies and their families. “It is a cause close to our hearts because our admin manager Lisa Hawkins, who has worked here for ten years, was cared for by the unit and is so grateful to have Maddy, her healthy and lively six-year-old daughter today.

“Our head doorman AlanNunn, who works very hard collecting donations for the Echo Trust, and his wife Gemma have also just had a baby.”

Grazia Sinar, clinical services lead for neonatal services, said: “The donation is a wonderful gesture from Cameo and the Echo Trust. We only have two breast pumps on the unit which is often not enough, so having another two will make a difference. The stands allow mums to sit by the cot or incubator and see their babies while they express the milk.

“It is important our special care babies get breast milk which is one of the most important things we can do for them. We can feed them via a tube, bottle or cup.”

Cameo is part of The Deltic Group which operates 58 bars and clubs across the UK, employing more than 2000 people.

Deltic set up the Echo Trust to grant awards to local children’s charities. Since it was established in 2002 the Echo Trust has raised more than £2.5 million for good causes.

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