Fundraising for Airedale Hospital’s maternity appeal has achieved double the initial target in just 12 months.

The appeal, launched by Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart on Mother’s Day 2013, aimed to raise £6,000.

But thanks to the generosity of local people it has topped £12,000.

Tricia said: “It’s great to see such support for the appeal, having had both my children at Airedale over 30 years ago.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed supporting the appeal over the past 12 months and wish the best of luck to the maternity unit for the future.”

The latest donation comes from the newly formed Bingley Women’s Institute, whose members knitted and crocheted dozens of woollen squares and sewed them together to create baby blankets.

Jag Picknett, its president, said: “It was a great honour to be able to hand these blankets over to support the maternity appeal. We were extremely impressed with the bereavement facilities and the new midwifery-led unit when we looked round.

“We’re continuing to make blankets for the hospital and if anyone would like to help they can donate 10x10 knitted squares to be made into blankets. These can be dropped off at the Little Yorkshire Gift Shop in Bingley.”

Claire Mathews, head of midwifery at Airedale, said: “The support we’ve had has been overwhelming.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped us exceed our target. The money raised has helped us to furnish our bereavement suite and family room to make them more comfortable and homely for families using them. Although this initial maternity appeal has successfully reached its target, we still welcome any fundraisers or donations. Any money raised helps to enhance the experience of women, partners and babies using our unit.”

The appeal has had backing from businesses, including Utley-based restaurant Roland’s, the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley, Whitakers of Skipton, and Victoria Mills, Saltaire.