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jordan Posted: Oct 8th 2010

Let's all get behind the Cots for Tots Appeal, say Bristol celebrities

THE £1 million fundraising appeal to enable St Michael's Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit to expand, was born out of Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal which raises funds for children's services at Bristol's city centre hospitals.

The charity campaign, originally set up to raise money for the new purpose-built children's hospital, which opened almost 10 years ago, benefited from the Aardman Animations characters who first won the hearts of adults and children alike with the film A Grand Day Out.

Having proved a success in helping to fundraise for the Children's Hospital the characters are being used again for the Cots for Tots Appeal, and their creator Nick Park has developed a new, younger version of Gromit for the latest appeal.

As reported earlier this week, St Michael's has to transfer about 10 babies a month who need the level of support offered at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The department helps to save the lives of hundreds of babies every year from Bristol and the whole region, who are born too early, suffer complications, require surgery or need cardiac care.

It is the only unit of its kind offering such support to babies in the region and is often full. Nurses and doctors at the unit try to juggle the care and allow babies, who are strong enough, to go home early in order to make room.

The campaign will also enable the hospital to provide more and better accommodation for families when they come to the unit.

On Wednesday the Evening Post showed its backing for the appeal and now Bristol celebrities have lent their support to encourage more people to dig deep for the cause.

Nick Park Q&A

How did you get involved with the original Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal?

Aardman were approached to create a character to help raise funds for the, then new, Bristol Children's Hospital Appeal. The more we discussed it, it seemed that Wallace and Gromit would be a perfect partnership.

What about the cause appealed to you?

We wanted to support a strong local cause which is at the heart of the community. With so many families at Aardman it felt right for Wallace and Gromit to help a charity that touches the lives of many other local families.

How does it feel to have seen the charity grow so much in the last 15 years?

It's very satisfying, especially as it's such a good cause, and a great testament to all those who have put so much time, effort and skill towards making it work. My bit was easy.

Why did you want to get behind the latest Cots for Tots appeal?

Because in a way it's a continuation of the Grand Appeal, and the Special Care Baby Unit is an equally much-needed facility.

Where did the idea for the new logo come from?

I don't know really, like all ideas you just sketch away until something hits you.

How does it feel to have a new character/ drawing of yours illustrating the latest appeal?

It's always an honour and a pleasure to have a character you've created on display, and used for such a valuable and worthwhile campaign.

What are you working on at the moment?

Aardman is very busy at the moment with two feature films being shot, a Wallace and Gromit TV project, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and much, much more. As for me, I'm partly involved with Wallace and Gromit but spending most my time writing a new feature film – the details of which I have to keep secret.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say about Cots for Tots?

Cots for Tots is a wonderful campaign and I wish it every success, and Wallace too is very proud to help out with one of Gromit's gorgeous baby pics. It brings tears to his eyes – almost as much as a well-ripe Gorgonzola.

jadesyjoo Posted: Mar 11th 2012

thats very sweet jordan :)

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