A CHARITY baby massage-thon raised hundreds of pounds to help keep sick children close to their families.

Basking Babies’ Maldon branch took part in a nationwide massage-thon on Facebook in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity’s Never Far Away: Essex Appeal.

The massage-thon took place on the Basking Babies UK Facebook page.

The team raised £370 in donations which was then matched by Basking Babies UK, taking the total to £740.

Natasha Wright, who runs Basking Babies in Maldon, said: “I would like to thank everyone who joined us on Saturday.

“It means so much to me knowing we are still able to offer classes online for our mums through this difficult time, raising money for such an amazing cause which has touched many of my Basking Babies mums.”

Basking Babies began supporting The Never Far Away: Essex Appeal two years ago after its launch in Chelmsford.

Great Ormond Street aims to raise £300,000 to provide, free, nearby accommodation to Essex families whose babies and children are undergoing lifesaving treatment.

The fundraiser included a tummy massage to relieve trapped wind and colic, a session for dads and finished with a bedtime session.

Natasha added: “It is so important to keep families together at these times.

“Situations like this could happen to anyone and it is comforting to know that if it happened to you, you won’t have to catch the last train home and can stay close by your child.

Basking Babies has 13 groups in Essex to teach parents skills in baby massage, yoga and reflexology.

Since lockdown, all classes have been moved online.

To donate to the appeal, search for Basking Babies on justgiving.com.