Robin Cousins visits hospital where he was born to support appeal
OLYMPIC gold medallist Robin Cousins met new babies at the hospital where he was born during a visit to show his support for an appeal to refurbish the maternity unit.
The figure skater, who grew up in Sea Mills, spoke to new parents at Southmead Hospital during his return to the city. He took a tour of the hospital to show his support for the Mum’s The Word Appeal.
Mr Cousins had already submitted a baby photograph to be used on a mosaic that is being compiled for the unit in exchange for donations to the appeal and met some of the fundraisers and staff who have shown their support.
He met Verity Tarrant who was just 24 hours old and spoke with her parents Kristina and Simon, of Yatton, about the new arrival and the loss of a permanent ice rink for the area.
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Mrs Tarrant, 33, said: “It was a lovely surprise during our visit to the hospital.
“I like watching Dancing on Ice and our three-year-old Sophie is desperate to go ice-skating. It would be nice to have somewhere around her to inspire her as well.”
Mr Tarrant, 37, said: “It’s good that Robin Cousins has still got an interest in the local area and is quite interested in what is going on.”
Mr Cousins’ visit yesterday came just hours after the last skaters took to Bristol Ice Rink before it closed its doors for good.
He told The Post how he remembered getting the bus from Sea Mills to the centre to practise his skating before going back to Henbury for school.
“The thing about Bristol is it’s always home,” he said.
“It is a great and vibrant city, the only thing they need to do is have a nice ice rink.”
Mr Cousins said that to work an ice rink needed to be in a location with other facilities.
“An ice rink on its own cannot and will not make money,” he said.
“Some do concerts and shows, wrestling and so forth.”
Mr Cousins also met with Grace Watson who was a midwife back when he was born at Southmead in the 50s, having done her initial training at the hospital. Her daughter Sally Wheeler is now the clinical matron on the unit.
Mrs Watson, whose retired GP husband Michael also delivered babies at Southmead during his training, has sold jams and chutneys in support of Mum’s The Word Appeal.
Mrs Wheeler said: “I hope this will be a great boost to the fundraising. I’m delighted Mr Cousins came back.”
Mr Cousins said: “For me it’s always been children’s charities that I’m involved with. I managed to find a photograph I’m not too embarrassed for them to have and I think the wall will be great.”