A DELIGHTED mother-of-three has had a hospital suite named after her after raising thousands of pounds for Dorchester ’s maternity ward.

Clare Stokes, of Woolston Road, Dorchester, raised £2,707.60 for the Dorset County Hospital Maternity Ward Appeal, which she launched in May.

Dorset County Hospital ’s head of midwifery Jo Hartley said the donation from Clare was extremely welcome and would help fund a new low risk birthing room that will be named the Stokes Suite.

She said: “It’s an incredibly generous contribution, particularly in these times of austerity.

“We are going to use the funds to furnish a low risk birthing room, which won’t have a bed but will have a couple of low level couches and a birthing mat.

“It’s for women who want to keep their birth as normal as possible if they want to have a natural birth with minimal intervention.”

Clare said she was surprised and delighted to be told that the room was to be named the Stokes Suite.

She said: “I’m overwhelmed, it’s lovely and I had no idea at all.

“The amount we raised is amazing, I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted. I never thought it would go over £2,000.

“I want to thank Waitrose Dorchester, The Blue Vinny pub, The Antelope Walk charity day and everyone involved in the charity Football match at the Dorchester Football Stadium for their generosity.

“Everyone in the town has been so brilliant and so supportive with the appeal, it’s been phenomenal.”

Clare started the campaign to raise money and awareness for the maternity ward after her and husband Richard lost two babies during preganancy.

On June 21 the Stokes family welcomed home their miracle baby Otis.

She said: “We lost both the others late in the second trimester – it was so tragic. Otis is our miracle baby, he’s such a wonder after everything that’s happened.

“All the staff on the maternity ward were amazing through the whole thing. If it wasn’t for them we could never have got through it – they’ve just been incredible.”

Clare, who has two other sons, Taylor and Henri, aged 14 and 11, added: “I really wanted to raise awareness about the amazing work the maternity staff do because a lot of people think being a midwife is just delivering babies and don’t think about this side of it. It was so awful for them to go through but the care and support they gave was absolutely outstanding.”


A MOTHER is hoping that a charity skydive will bring a windfall of cash to her daughter’s nursery school.

Kelly Smith, 25, is planning the sponsored event in aid of the Dorchester Community Nursery School and hopes to raise £600.

Her daughter Bethany, three, has just started at the school.

Ms Smith said: “They do rely quite heavily on charity, and do their own fundraising.

“With my own daughter starting there, it seemed like a good opportunity to help them out.”

The nursery school is planning to use the funds to buy outdoor play equipment.

Ms Smith, of Charlton Down , said : “Skydiving is definitely something I want to do and I also enjoy fundraising, so it seemed ideal to combine the two.

“I went to the Air Festival in Bournemouth and saw people doing it. It looked amazing.”

She added: “I think I will be a bit nervous when it comes to getting on the gear when I’m up in the plane. But at the moment I’m just really, really excited.”

Ms Smith, who works as a health advisor, said her daughter had been supportive.

“When she heard about it, she just wanted to do it with me but I told her she is a bit young.”

The 25-year-old said raising money for charity has been a big part of her life since her parents joined the Dorchester Moose club.

“Mum and dad got involved when they moved to the town years ago, so I was always helping out. I have been fundraising since I was 10.”

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Ms Smith by calling 01305 259039.

People wishing to donate should visit the website www.skydiveukltd.com /187-Kelly-Skydive.asp.