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March 21, 2024

World Prematurity Day charity ball raises thousands of pounds for Bolton’s Neonatal Unit

  • More than £7,000 raised for Our Bolton NHS Charity at World Prematurity Day ball
  • Alex Grice and family chose to support charity after twins received care at Bolton’s Neonatal Unit
  • Over £20,000 raised for Our Bolton NHS Charity since 2019
  • Fifth charity ball to take place on Saturday 9 November 2024

A family from Bury have raised more than £7,300 for Our Bolton NHS Charity to support parents and their families who use Royal Bolton Hospital’s Neonatal Unit.

With the help of friends and loved ones, Alex Grice and Nicola Orrell organised a charity ball to mark World Prematurity Day 2023 that raised a total of more than £22,000.

The family chose a number of charities to support, including Our Bolton, with the funds donated to the charity’s dedicated paediatric and neonatal specialty fund.

Attendees for the World Prematurity Day charity ball have a group photo

The Real family have supported Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity partner for the past four years to acknowledge the care support Alex and her partner Declan received when their twins, Ava and Archie, were born prematurely at Royal Bolton Hospital in 2019.

The twins spent 126 days on the Neonatal Unit (NNU), during which time Alex experienced the care and compassion from NHS staff.

Raising money for the Bolton NNU will always be of the highest importance to me and my family after what the nurses, doctors and staff did to care and support us when Ava and Archie were born 15 weeks early, in 2019.

“After being born so prematurely and poorly, their uncertainty of life put everything into perspective for us as a family and it is one of our greatest privileges to be able to give back to the incredible NHS staff who helped us through the darkest times. We’ll always be grateful for their support and kindness.

“We have experienced life on neonatal unit first hand and knowing that these funds have and continue to help support other families going through similar experiences makes us truly happy.

Nicola Orrell, who is grandmother to the twins, has helped to organise the charity ball and is currently finalising plans for their fifth annual event on Saturday 9 November 2024.

Nicola said:

We’re in the planning phase for our fifth annual charity ball, which will take place on the 9th November at the Last Drop Hotel in Bolton.

“We are looking for businesses to support our amazing event through sponsorship and the donation of raffle and auction prizes. Sponsors will receive a table of 12, sponsor credits on all social media posts, branding on the event and credits in any coverage. To find out more please email

Over the past four events an incredible £57,000 has been raised for Our Bolton NHS Charity and other organisations and charities, including Ronald McDonald House Charities, Bliss Charity and SANDS.

World Prematurity Day 2023 charity ball

Sarah Skinner, Charity Manager at Our Bolton NHS Charity, said:

The generosity of Alex, Nicola and their family and friends has already made a meaningful difference to our families who spend time in our Neonatal Unit.

“Thanks to our community of Bolton Neonatal Unit supporters, including Alex and Nicola, we have proudly funded the refurbishment of parent accommodation facilities, reclining chairs for skin-to-skin contact and a twin cot.

“We look forward to supporting Alex and Nicola once again in 2024 to raise awareness of the support available from our incredible staff and much-needed funds so we can continue to invest in the things that improve the NHS experience for the people of Bolton and beyond.

Tickets to attend the event are now available. To find out more about Our Bolton NHS Charity, please visit the Trust’s website.

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