A local baby and parent group has raised over £610 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity after hosting a sponsored sensory walk to mark the franchise’s 13th birthday.

Tots Play in Edgbaston and Kings Heath runs developmental play courses and classes for babies, toddlers and their parents, and as part of its parent company’s anniversary celebrations, Franchisee Fatema Meghjee, organised a fundraiser all the little ones could get involved in.

Fatema turned to her tiny pupils’ parents to agree the worthy cause which should benefit from their fundraising, and after the first suggestion of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, the case was closed! So many of her families had used the hospital’s services or knew someone who needed its care at some stage, the decision was unanimous.

With the cause settled, Fatema began to plan the activity – a sensory walk based on the children’s favourite story book, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’, which tells the tale of the obstacles a little adventurer overcomes while trying to find a bear.

The families were each given a sponsorship form and two weeks to raise as much as they could for the charity before the walk took place. Fatema pulled together supplies such as artificial grass, wet pom poms to represent water, flour to represent snow and chocolate gloop to imitate the story’s squelchy mud.

On the day, parents helped their babies and toddlers walk through the sensory substances to make them feel as though they were emersed in the story, all whilst singing ‘We’re going on a bar hunt’.

Fatema said: “All of our families were so excited to raise money for such an important cause, although they weren’t sure what to expect when I revealed it would be a sensory walk! It was amazing to see some of the children come out of their comfort zone to explore the messy materials but they all did a great job. The children, adults and I all had a great time!”

“Our classes are all about showing parents how they can create sensory experiences for their children quickly and easily with household items and so many of them felt they could take something away from the session, as well as feeling good about raising money for the hospital.”

Tots Play Birmingham has also just begun an initiative which will see five per cent of the profits from its baby development course go to Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, the sister to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Our charity resonates strongly with families with young children and while we hope they won’t need to use our hospitals’ services any time soon, they know we’re always here if they do, which is why we’re so grateful for their support.

“We love to see our supporters doing something out of the ordinary for us and the funds Tots Play raised with its sensory walk will go towards helping us do more for our sick kids.”