Kit Tarka Orange day 2021. Photos by JJ WallerKit Tarka Orange day 2021. Photos by JJ Waller
Kit Tarka Orange day 2021. Photos by JJ Waller

Charity celebrates ‘really successful event’ as Brighton and Hove residents Go Orange – in pictures

Hundreds of people raided their wardrobes for something orange to wear on Sunday as part of a virtual charity event.

The Kit Tarka Foundation, which aims to prevent newborn baby deaths from neonatal herpes, challenged its supporters to ‘Go Orange’ – to wear orange, paint their faces orange or do anything else involving the colour.

Sarah de Malplaquet, co-founder of the charity, said hundreds of people took part in the city as well as around the country and even around the world – with people participating from New Zealand, Spain and Germany.

“It was a really successful event,” she said. “Just watching all the pictures coming in was really nice and really emotional.”

The charity held its first ‘go orange’ event last year after the pandemic made it impossible to hold its annual sponsored walk.

It was so much fun that they decided to do it again this year.

Some people wore one orange item, while others wore head-to-toe orange fancy dress.

A supporter in Hanover did a day’s worth of massages with all funds going towards the charity, while another in Preston Park did an hour-long hula hooping session.

Others did sponsored walks and runs, and there was also a scavenger hunt for children. Several nurseries and schools also got involved this year.

Winners of the best-dressed competition will be announced soon.

Sarah said part of the beauty of the event was that it was so easy to get involved.

“I guess in these pandemic times people want something to feel joyful about,” she said.

The event has raised £5,500 so far, beating the £5,000 target set, which Sarah said was ‘amazing’.

The Kit Tarka Foundation is named Sarah and her partner James’ son Kit, 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.

Sarah said that during Kit’s short life, the midwife noticed that he wore a lot of orange – which is why they chose the colour for the charity’s logo.

She said they were planning to hold the Go Orange event again next year. “Hopefully it will just grow and grow.”

Find out the simple steps you can take to prevent babies from catching herpes infections by visiting the Kit Tark Foundation website here.

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