A family and group of friends from across Birmingham have been crowned as this week’s charity champions after coming together to take on all manner of quirky flamingo-themed challenges and raising over £3,200 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity in memory of their sister Amy.

Amy Shimell was a much-loved neonatal nursery nurse at Birmingham Women’s Hospital but since her tragic passing in 2017, aged just 32, her family and friends have devoted their time to keeping her passion for her patients’ care alive by fundraising for the hospital’s charity.

On the month that should have seen Amy celebrate her 35th birthday, the group of 45 took on an extra special challenge, all choosing activities that were themed around the number 35, also with a nod to her favourite animal, the flamingo.

With ages of the group ranging from 18-months to over 70-years-old, each individual challenge was completely unique so that everyone could get involved, no matter their abilities. From learning to count to 35 and running 35 miles dressed as a flamingo, to making 35 flamingo facemasks and taking on a 35k bike ride, the group supported each other to fundraise for the charity’s Woodland House Appeal, to bring a new stand-alone bereavement centre to Birmingham Women’s Hospital for families who are experiencing pregnancy or baby loss.

Amy’s younger sister, Lucy Somner, initiated the challenge amongst her family and friends. She said: “Amy’s role at Birmingham Women’s Hospital was always more of a passion than just a job for her. It was a huge part of who she was and that lives on in our fundraising.

“I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by how many people got involved, and with all of the creative flamingo-themed ideas they came up with. It was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful sister’s 35th birthday.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “We know just how well-loved Amy was at our hospital and the fundraising the family has done in her memory will create a wonderful legacy for her. The amount they raised for our Woodland House Appeal, takes us a step closer to our £3.5m target, helping us set a new standard of care for families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss.”

If you would like to learn more about Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal or make a donation, please visit bwh.org.uk/woodland-house or call 0121 335 8040.