THERE was immediate support for The Hunts Post s New Life Appeal, which was launched last week to raise money for the maternity and special care baby units at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon. One of the first events to kick off our £70,000 fundraisi

TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS: Maggie Bate, Pam Townley and Lucy Hallybone at Hanover Housing in Eynesbury. Picture: HUNTS POST

THERE was immediate support for The Hunts Post's New Life Appeal, which was launched last week to raise money for the maternity and special care baby units at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon.

One of the first events to kick off our £70,000 fundraising drive will be held at a company in Eynesbury where the 40 employees will be raffling off unwanted Christmas gifts.

And there is also support from a family whose baby daughter was treated in the special care baby unit (SCBU). They will be holding a second charity auction.

Last year, the Kane family, also from Eynesbury, presented the unit with £3,000. Their daughter Olivia, born a week early weighing just two pounds in March 2005, lived for only nine days.

The family paid tribute to the unit staff's efforts to save Olivia and have been showing their thanks through fundraising for the unit.

The next event will be in aid of the New Life Appeal.

John Kane, his wife, Lynn, and daughter Rebecca, 10, a pupil at Winhills School, will be holding an auction event at St Neots Football ground on Saturday, March 8, inviting people to bid for signed football and celebrity memorabilia.

Among the goods on offer are a football signed by Sir Bobby Charlton and other balls signed by the teams from Aston Villa and Manchester City. There are also signed photographs of Amir Khan and Terry Wogan, two hats signed by the golfer, Ian Poulter, a Leicester City shirt and a training shirt worn and signed by England footballer Paul Ince who also played for Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham. Ince is now manager of MK Dons.

There are also other lots including a week's caravan holiday at Chapel St Leonards, near Skegness.

Entry to the auction will be £1 for adults and 50p for children, which includes sweets and free tickets to a special children's raffle for toys and books.

Over at the Hanover Housing Association in Eynesbury, staff are holding a Christmas Present Past Raffle, where their unwanted gifts will be raffled off in the office.

The items include a large Christmas hamper given by employee Sue Donnelly, who became a grandmother for the first time in December to twins, Sonny and Rory Donnelly, born weighing 4 lbs 12 ounces and 4 lbs 15 ounces. They went into special care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital having been transferred from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. The babies are now doing well.

Spokesman for the company, regional support officer Loraine Harris said: "We saw The Hunts Post appeal and decided that we wanted to help." The company expects to raise about £200.

INFORMATION: The Kane family's auction at St Neots football ground on March 8 will run from 7pm to midnight.