Fund-raising bike ride memorial for baby brother

Barney, Abby, Molly and Chloe Kentish will be cycling in memory of their baby brother, Jasper
Barney, Abby, Molly and Chloe Kentish will be cycling in memory of their baby brother, Jasper

A schoolboy from Abington will cycle around Pitsford Reservoir today to mark the fifth birthday of his baby brother who died a week after being born prematurely.

Barney Kentish, 11, will be cycling the 7.5 miles to raise money for Gosset neonatal ward at Northampton General Hospital, where staff looked after baby Jasper following his birth at 27 weeks.

In only a few days, Barney has already managed to raise more than £60 for the ward.

He will be joined today by his little sisters – Abby, aged 9, Molly, 7, and Chloe, 4 – as the Kentish family spend the day remembering Jasper, who would have been celebrating his fifth birthday.

Mum Leanne said: “This is a very sad day for all of us, especially Barney, so every year we take the day off and spend it as a family doing something Jasper would have enjoyed.

“Last year we went to Legoland, but this year Barney had the idea to do a bike ride to raise money for the neonatal ward.

“In the morning we will go and leave cards that the children have made at Jasper’s grave and then do the bike ride and go for lunch together.

“Barney has already had a practice run around the reservoir, but the girls will only do a bit of the track as they are quite little and it will be a bit more of a challenge for them.”

The money they have raised will go to the ward along with our ‘Jasper’s fund’ pot where we always put spare change.

Leanne said: “Everyone at the unit has been lovely and supportive, but the cycle itself will just be a private event for us as a family.”

Youngest sister, Chloe, also spent more than two months on the unit after she was born prematurely at 28 weeks.

Northampton General Hospital last year delivered more than 4,000 babies and one in 10 were admitted to Gosset ward.

The Gosset neonatal ward is a registered charity that cares for newborn babies who require some form of intensive care nursing, usually due to premature birth.

To help Barney raise more money for the ward, contact Tiny Horizons Day Nursery in Moulton on 01604 642705.

Normal pregnancy lasts 37-42 weeks, so babies born before 37 weeks are premature.

Gosset ward generally admits babies born at less than 34 weeks and can only admit babies born later if they need specialist care.

It receives funding for basic equipment, but is run mainly on donations, fund-raising initiatives and volunteer work.

The ward’s main target this year is to raise the £48,000 needed to buy a new special transport incubator.