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Weighty challenge raises money for youngster’s unit

(l-r) Roy Sargeant, Leigh Diamond, Mark Dolan and Darrell Bennett, with Robyn Bennett at the front

(l-r) Roy Sargeant, Leigh Diamond, Mark Dolan and Darrell Bennett, with Robyn Bennett at the front

A TEAM of four made up of family and friends carried 140kg in a rucksack for just under 20 miles to raise money for a children’s unit.

Darrell Bennett, 39, used to be in the army and now works as a security manager.

He set himself the fundraising challenge to raise £25,000 in memory of his daughter Sydney (pictured).

As reported, she died aged only 22 days old in April after she developed meningitis after contracting group B streptococcus (GBS) while her mother Robyn was giving birth.

Mr Bennett, along with brother-in-law Roy Sargeant, 45, and friends Leigh Diamond and Mark Dolan took part in the walk which started at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, and finished in Southampton.

The route was picked to reflect the journey Sydney took in her short life and raised £9,822.

Mrs Bennett, of Lyndhurst Road, North End, said: ‘We are really pleased with the amount the walk raised.

‘It was tough going for the guys, but they did want a challenge.

‘It was also very emotional for everyone, especially for me and Darrell.

‘But we made a promise to Sydney that we would raise awareness of GBS and money for those that helped her.’

The money will be spent on the paediatric intensive care unit in Southampton General Hospital.

It will go on a giraffe warmer unit – the device in which Sydney was placed in during her short stay.

The warmer unit weighs about 140kg, which is why the amount to carry in the rucksack was chosen.

Mrs Bennett added: ‘The next challenge is the Great South Run and Darrell will be taking part in fancy dress.’

The couple are also campaigning for a routine screening test for GBS, which would cost the NHS £11 each.

The condition can be treated with antibiotics.

But the National Screening Committee said that it has no plans to bring in the test.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/sydney-bennett

 

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