Danny Maddocks was so moved by the heartache felt by parents of cot death victims that he decided to get his skates on and do something to help… literally. Next week Danny, 28, will roll into action to support the fourth annual ‘Save A Baby Month’ by skating all the way from Bristol to London – a marathon 120-mile, three–day trip.
“Save a Baby Month’ is a national campaign organised by the leading baby charity – Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) to raise awareness of simple, effective measures parents can take to reduce the risk of cot death – otherwise known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Danny, of Bristol hasn’t pulled on a pair of skates in earnest since he was a teenager – but is determined to raise £1,000 that could pay for two baby breathing monitors. “It’s been over 10 years since I last slipped into a pair of roller boots but even back then the farthest I had skated was 12 miles from Bristol to Bath!” he said.
Danny first became aware of the FSID and the work they do two years ago when his partner was due with their first child. “Cot death was one of our biggest fears, being first-time parents,” said Danny. “All of a sudden baby safety was the top priority for both of us and research led me to the FSID website. “It was there I discovered an ‘in memory’ website, also run by FSID, where bereaved parents can create a memorial for their child. We can only begin to imagine the pain, suffering and heartache that these parents are going through. “I have been moved to tears on many occasions reading those and that is my motivation to do all I can to support the charity.”
So on Saturday, May 8, Danny will set off skating from Bristol city centre to FSID headquarters in London, handing out Safe Sleeping literature and raising money along the way. Bristol skate shop Rollermania has donated a pair of roller skates for Danny’s challenge, while overnight stays have also been gifted by the Hare and Hounds Hotel, Newbury and the Royal Adelaide, Windsor.
Holly Butcher, FSID’s Head of Fundraising, said: “We are all very excited about Danny’s incredible roller-skating challenge and wish him the best of luck. “Cot death is still the biggest killer of babies over one month old in the UK, claiming more lives than meningitis, leukemia and all other cancers combined. “We rely on the magnificent efforts of supporters like Danny, who go above and beyond to help us give every baby the chance of a lifetime.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Danny’s skate can go to www.justgiving.com/Danny-Maddocks or visit www.babysfirstcalendar.com/blog for updates. For more information on “Save a Baby Month”, go to the FSID website at http://fsid.org.uk