A Norfolk couple are hoping to raise £2,500 to help a hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit to expand after nurses looked after their two premature children.

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Daniel and Julie Hawes, of Ensign Way, Diss, are hoping to raise the money for the Cots for Tots appeal at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to provide more incubators for the hospital’s neo-natal unit so babies born prematurely do not have to go to other hospitals and be separated from their mothers.

The unit’s staff looked after her youngest son Joseph when he was born at 32 weeks in November 2010, weighing just 3lb 8oz, and William when he was born at 35 weeks in February 2005, weighing 4lb 15oz.

Mrs Hawes, 35, said when Joseph was born she was not sure whether he would have to go to another hospital in the area, such as at Great Yarmouth or Ipswich due to a lack of incubators, but the situation was resolved and he was able to stay with his mother at Norwich.

However, the former Mothercare employee feared another parent could be faced with being separated from their child unless money could be provided for extra incubators.

“I don’t think until you have been in that situation you can appreciate what it is like to have your babies in a little plastic cot. You have to trust the staff to take care of them and they are amazing and they treat them like they are their own babies. I just think that the more money we can raise for them the better,” Mrs Hawes said. A series of fundraising events have been planned to achieve the target, including a charity golf day at Diss Golf Club on September 14.

To donate to the appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/norwichnicu

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