While their sons are used to taking on opponents on the rugby pitch a group of Mums tackled their own challenge of fundraising – and came up with £1,000!

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, wants to say a big “Thank you” to the mothers of Farnham Rugby Club’s the last season’s highly successful Mini/Junior section U13 squad who have donated £1,000 to the unit, which is the regional centre for neonatal intensive care.

Said organiser Janice Rayner: “We were inspired to choose the neonatal unit as it was close to our hearts as a family in our squad sadly lost their baby brother there in the summer of 2007.”

The baby, Finlay, had been born at 25 weeks into a 40 week pregnancy. Initially he was cared for at Southampton Hospital and then three weeks later was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Said Janice: “Sadly, Finlay died when he reached 33 weeks due to a long fight with infection, to which premature babies are more susceptible. Our club recognised, through that experience, that St. Peter’s NICU had provided intensive care with high dependency cots for the care of babies born prematurely before 32 weeks. Our club also recognised the dedication from the team at the hospital.”

That is when the idea of a charity “Scrummy Mummies Lunch” began! The mums enlisted the support of local businesses who provided a huge range of raffle prizes: vouchers for local shops; meals for two; jewellery; a therapy session; basket of fruit and SPA gifts, to name but a few!

The boys from the U13 squad made up “goody gifts” to be sold during the event, and the meat, cheese, flowers and fruit for the lunch was donated by local traders.

Said Janice: “Our “Scrummy Mummies Lunch” was well attended by 55 local mummies and their enthusiasm for the raffle tickets reflected well on the generosity of those who had donated the prizes! It was hard work, but we all enjoyed the day. And we also were able to raise funds to contribute towards the cost of of a Rugby Tour in South Wales for the youngsters who play alongside Reece.”

Deputy Sister for Neonatal Intensive Care Helen Mayes said: “This donation is very much appreciated and we thank both those who organised the fundraising and those people who so generously supported the lunch. It will go into our Early Births Fund and is likely to go either towards an £8,000 breathing support machine or a £14,000 incubator.”