Riders horse about to raise money for Tiny Lives baby charity

Horse ride organiser Michelle Burton leads the way as riders set off on their fundraising ride in aid of Newcastle RVI's Tiny Lives, from the New Ship, Sunderland Road, South Shields.

Horse ride organiser Michelle Burton leads the way as riders set off on their fundraising ride in aid of Newcastle RVI's Tiny Lives, from the New Ship, Sunderland Road, South Shields.

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Riders and their horses had neigh bother raising cash for charity in memory of twin baby sisters.

Michelle Burton organised a festive horse ride to raise money for Tiny Lives.

Horse riders set off on their fundraising ride in aid of Newcastle RVI's Tiny Lives.

Horse riders set off on their fundraising ride in aid of Newcastle RVI's Tiny Lives.

The charity is close to Michelle’s heart as her cousin Melanie Atkinson’s baby daughter Chloe passed away at Newcastle’s RVI after a five month battle in January 2014.

Tiny Chloe weighed just 1lb and six ounces when she was born three months prematurely in September 2013, with her sister Sophia sadly stillborn.

Melanie, who is originally from South Shields, never lost hope that she’d be a mum again and in September gave birth to baby Aidan weighing just over 5lbs.

Aidan had the chance to see the horse riders in action, when the ride started at the New Ship Inn in Cleadon, along with dad Dale.

There was an amazing turnout.

Michelle Burton

Melanie, 40, said: “It was a lovely day and Aidan enjoyed seeing all of the horses.

“We also organised a boxing day dip to add to the funds and we will be doing it all again next year to keep honouring the girls.

“Christmas has been amazing this year. It’s been extra special - we’ve finally had something to look forward to.”

About 43 riders, including people wearing horse costumes, took part in the trek which was along the nearby bridal paths and, so far, Michelle has collected £350.

Michelle from South Shields, said: “There was an amazing turnout and the ride was fantastic, everyone was dressed up so it looked really good.

“We’ve raised over £350 but I still have sponsors to come in by end of week so I’m hoping to hit around £500.”

Donations can still be made by visiting, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michelle-Burton3.

Tiny Lives provides vital care and support for premature and sick newborn babies at the Special Baby Care Unit at the RVI.

They offer services such as family rooms and accommodation, travel costs and final support for low-income families, a dedicated social to provide emotional support and also invest in funding for research grants. For more information on the charity, visit www.tinylives.org.uk.