Media release: Turtle Tots raises over £11,000 for neonatal unit

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Simpsons Special Care Babies receives donation after swim school holds duck race

TURTLE Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian is delighted to announce it has raised an incredible £11,246 for local charity, Simpsons Special Care Babies.

A nominated charity for the Edinburgh-based swim school, over the past four years, Turtle Tots has now raised over £20,700 for the charity. 

When owner. Karina Reinhardt, read of the latest fundraising target for the charity, she decided they had to do more than just their termly donation.

So, she got together with the other members of her team to come up with ideas of how to raise more funds. That day, the Turtle Tots Duck Race was born.

Well, in fact, it was 102 duck races, run during the classes over a week in October. The swimmers, aged 12 weeks to five years-old, all raised funds, before taking to the water with their quacking friend.

Over 600 swimmers raised a phenomenal amount, showing great enthusiasm and support for a charity many have benefited from directly in their early lives.

Director of Turtle Tots Edinburgh, Karina commented: “Simpson’s Special Care Babies has provided vital support to many of our swimmers, and personally to my friends and family members. With a current fundraising target of £300,000, I was keen that through Turtle Tots, we could help get them a step nearer to that target. 

“I’m completely overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and generosity shown by these families. Every single one of our little swimmers has embraced the challenge and have had loads of fun in the process. It’s amazing the funds that can be raised when you all pull together.” 

One of the top fundraisers was Jed Heeps (pictured), who himself benefited from the support of the unit when he was born on New Year’s Day at 26 weeks, weighing just 2lbs, 2oz.

His mum, Cherise Purves said: “We were delighted to support the Turtle Tots Duck Race, even more so since we were raising funds for a charity that means so much to us. The support we received when Jed was in the unit for three months was incredible, in particular from the amazing staff, and we hope that many more families will benefit in the way we did. 

“The renovations to improve the facilities for families will make a huge difference. Mums spend a lot of time expressing so having a nice, comfortable space to do that, and to be able to get a snack or cuppa without doing to the canteen, will make such a difference to parents.” 

Lee Picken, trustee of Simpsons Special Care Babies, added: “Turtle Tots has always been a fantastic supporter of the charity and we were delighted to hear that they had come up with this great fundraising idea. 

“The funds they have raised will be put to great use as we look to raise £300,000 to upgrade of parent facilities within the unit.

“We understand the stress and anxiety that having a baby who requires neonatal care places on families and parental well-being is essential at this stressful time. We think these improvements will make an impactful difference to those parents with babies requiring the support of the unit. With this in mind, we hope to reach this target as soon as possible to get these essential improvements underway.”


Photo credit: Anna Moffat

Additional photography available to download here:

featuring (L to R):

  • Professor Benjamin Stenson, consultant neonatologist and clinical lead for neonatology at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
  • Jed Heeps, ten months and mother, Cherise Purves, who swim with Turtle Tots in Dalkeith
  • Karina Reinhardt, Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian
  • Lee Picken, trustee of Simpsons Special Care Babies

Notes for editors:

  • Visit the Simpsons Special Care Babies website for further information on the current fundraising campaign.
  • Award-winning Turtle Tots Edinburgh was established over seven years ago by Karina Reinhardt. Along with her team of nine swimming instructors, she now runs classes at 12 pools across Edinburgh and East Lothian.
  • Each term, Karina donates a proportion of class fees to her nominated charities which are currently Simpsons Special Care Babies and the NSPCC Scotland. To date, Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian has donated over £50,000 to local charities.

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Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian contact details…

Contact: Viv Blair
Phone: 07734968004