A HOSPITAL has been boosted with £11,000 of new hospital equipment after fundraisers decided to say thank you for the support staff had given their friends.

The equipment has been donated to Southend Hospital’s baby care unit after friends of Shoebury couple Charlotte Spinks and her partner Ricky Cannon took on a series of events to raise the money.

This included a charity ball and bike ride from London to Geneva and all took place after the friends were impressed with the way doctors and nurses helped the couple’s sons Gabriel, now two, and Zachary, six months.

Both were born early because it was found Miss Spinks, who suffers from renal stone disease, had multiple fast-growing kidney stones which threatened the lives of her babies.

She said: “It’s amazing so many people decided to fundraise on our behalf. After more surgery I’m stone free - for now.”

The gruelling charity ride was completed by Jason Smith, area manager of clubs Mayhem and Churchills with club managers Gary Stokes, 42, and Martyn Warne, 37 joining him on the first leg to Paris.

Leading participant Mick Sepple, 46, from Leigh, was unable to take part after he was admitted to hospital in Marbella, Spain, after suffering a life-threatening heart condition in August while on a family holiday. The father-of-two is now fit and well and the team raised £6,207.

Pam Withrington and her sister Brenda LeVoi, owner of Westcliff salon Hairclubin, held their 24th annual charity ball with the proceeds from that also going to the unit.

The Moulin Rouge themed ball was held in October at the newly opened Holiday Inn Hotel at Southend Airport and raised £5,100.

Some of the cash will be used to buy a video laryngoscopys, which is a small camera placed into the baby’s mouth so that tubes can be inserted into the airways quickly and accurately without causing too much upset to the child.