Brighton charity to hold ‘go orange’ virtual challenge to help save babies’ lives

A charity which aims to prevent newborn baby deaths from neonatal herpes is inviting residents to ‘go orange’ this Sunday.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:36 pm
The first 'go orange' event was held last year. Photo: J de Malplaquet

The Kit Tarka Foundation is asking supporters to wear orange, walk in orange, make orangeries of orange items, bake orange cakes, paint their faces orange – or do anything else involving the colour orange.

People are able to join in wherever they live and all ages and abilities are very welcome.

In the first ‘go orange’ event last year, Anna Thatcher won the top prize for the most orange items in one place.

Photo: A Thatcher

She said “The children and I had such fun running around the house and picking out all things orange.

“We had no idea that there were so many things containing orange.

“We couldn’t believe how competitive it became and when we saw the numbers being submitted we were determined to find even more.”

The Kit Tarka Foundation is named after Kit, a Brighton resident who was born healthy but died when he was just 13 days old from the common cold sore virus.

It is thought to kill one newborn baby every week in the UK, yet most of the general public are not aware of the dangers and many doctors do not consider the virus in their diagnosis or only administer treatment when it is too late.

The charity funds neonatal herpes research and works to raise awareness amongst the general public and medical profession.

Since 2018, the charity has seen support from thousands of people and raised £110,000, as well as funded a major piece of research into neonatal herpes in the UK and published what is now one of the world’s top online resources for neonatal herpes.

The charity usually holds an annual fundraising walk – but when the pandemic made this impossible last year, it hosted its first virtual ‘go orange’ event instead.

Sarah de Malplaquet co-founder of Kit Tarka Foundation, said of this year’s event: “We want the day to be great fun as well as raise awareness around neonatal herpes.

“We just ask that people wear something orange or do something involving orange and share photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #GoOrangeForKit and #NeonatalHerpesAwareness and tagging @KitTarka.

“There will be a scavenger hunt pack for little ones and fabulous prizes for the best-dressed, biggest and most creative ‘orangeries’, best orange artwork and top fundraisers.”

Anyone interested in supporting can sign up at kittarkafoundation.org/go-orange

Everyone who registers will be emailed a downloadable GoOrange! pack with printable photo booth accessories, otter mask and a scavenger hunt.