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James Leah, manager of the Solihull branch of FatFace, has “given something back” after handing over a cheque worth £2,310 to baby charity Ickle Pickles.

James, who works at the clothing store in Mell Square, presented the cheque to Ickle Pickles co-founder Rachael Marsh.

He raised the cash ahead of a 30-mile Jurassic Coast walk for the FatFace Foundation – which supports communities at home and abroad – and decided it should go to Ickle Pickles.

The charity aims to help babies who are born too soon or are born with an illness that leaves them needing intensive care in neonatal units.

James, whose store were runners-up in the Solihull BID Excellence Awards’ Best Fundraising or Community Project category, has first-hand knowledge of the successful work Ickle Pickles does following the birth of his daughter Harriet.

He said: “At 24 hours old, Harriet’s condition suddenly deteriorated, and it became apparent that she needed a greater level of care than the Special Care Baby Unit at The Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley could give her.

“This is when we encountered Ickle Pickles. They collected Harriet who was now ventilated and had been given paralysing drugs.  

“She was rushed across London to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St George’s Hospital in Tooting where she received the care that ultimately saved her life. 

“Myself and my family will forever be in debt to this fantastic charity. Incubators can cost £15,000 so hopefully the amount I raised will go in some small way to help another sick baby make a full recovery just like Harriet has. I feel like I have given something back.”

The Ickle Pickle Partnership turns gifts and donations from generous people into specialised equipment such as incubators and ventilators to help neonatal units provide incredible levels of care.

Rachael added: “It’s a really amazing amount of money that James has managed to raise in such a short period of time.

“We set up the charity because our son Charlie was born prematurely and there was no channel for us to raise money through.

“We get e-mails daily from people wanting to raise money for their local neonatal unit and they’re not sure how. They can now do that through us.

“We’re a national charity but we work on a local level to support neonatal units. The support from James, his customers and the FatFace Foundation is really key.

“There are budget shortages across the NHS and there is a big need for essential equipment, so we look to help fill those gaps.”

For more information on Ickle Pickles, visit http://www.icklepickles.org

For more information on the FatFace Foundation, visit https://www.fatfacefoundation.org/ 

The photo above shows James Leah (left) handing over the cheque to Rachael Marsh (right) outside the FatFace Solihull store