A BABY who was given only a one per cent chance of survival after being born no bigger than a tiny teddy bear has inspired fund-raising.

It was a long time before Charles Roper was allowed home, born at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb 11oz - less than a bag of sugar.

And now the hospitals where he was cared for in his first few months, including Hereford County Hospital Special Care Baby Unit, have been repaid for making sure he hung on to that slim chance.

The family started fund-raising last June and their efforts have resulted in a massive £2,600 collection.

A cuddly toy theme ran through all the events, starting with a Teddy Bear Celebration Service at Tyberton Church. More than 200 people watched 60 bears abseil down the tower.

Other activities saw teddy bears playing golf and racing on the backs of sheep.

Charlie's grandparents held flower demonstrations and grandfathers George Roper and Peter Burgoyne used their big birthdays to pull in the cash. On George's 70th and Peter's 60th, donations totalling £1,000 were made.

All the money raised has been shared between Hereford's special care baby unit and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.

Charlie spent six weeks in Heartlands' intensive care neonatal unit and a further two weeks at the hospital before being moved to the special care baby unit in Hereford for two months.

The family is extremely grateful for the support of the medical staff, and also to all the people who helped to raise the money.