So, I first started working with Forever Finley, which is an incredible charity, that casts sleeping babies.
So we go out to families, I cover Kent and the founder, Charlotte and Rob they cover Essex. What we do is we aim to create memories with the parents and babies. I cast so that you can look back and say we’ve done this with him or we’ve done this with her. We like to also talk about the baby as much as possible. So we say about, the features, their hands, they’ve got lovely dimples in their knuckles and all the little wrinkles in their feet. And we laugh and say about their feet big like dad’s or they’ve got mum’s hair. And it’s just a really beautiful moment because we want to make the memory as nice as possible in the most heartbreaking situation.
So we set up a support group for parents that we meet so they can all come together and say, “I feel this, is it normal?” or just rant a little bit because a big thing with losing a baby is the taboo around it, what people do and don’t say.
They wrote me a Christmas card, but my baby wasn’t in it and he still exists. Or, I tried to talk to friends about it, but they kind of change the subject or people who’ve completely blanked me ever since. And it’s all these emotions that if you haven’t had anyone around you that you know, that has also had this, you kinda feel alone. So with this group, we’re hoping that the mums and the dads can come together and say, “I felt this, have you been through it?” It’s really lovely and we’ve also got now little cards with a little poem on that are going go with the baby when they’re laid to rest and the parents a have one too. So it’s a forever connection. And it also says about them being the brightest star so that we know that whenever they see a star, they know it’s a sign, they know that that’s the little one saying, “You know what? “I’m okay like, don’t worry.”
Another thing we’re trying to do is to get into universities & hospitals and Charlotte and Rob to do a conference so that they can share their story about Finley and hopefully if it just goes into like one midwife or someone at the university that’s learning midwifery, it can hopefully save lives of babies that are unfortunately lost through medical negligence. So, we want to help parents when their baby’s born sleeping but we also wanna do our best to try and prevent us even having to go to the said family in that circumstance and maybe meet them under a different circumstance.
I also liaise with Ross from #dadsandlads. He also has another charity Nine4Norah because his little girl was born and died shortly after nine hours.
So he started that charity. He’s been doing lots of charity runs to raise money to help other bereaved parents. And then what got me most and what made me get in contact with Ross as he said in the start of 2020, January, he’s going to open a charity which helps dads and lads mental health-wise.
So that hit me. I lost my stepdad in October to suicide and leading up to his death it felt that there was no one to help. It wasn’t that we didn’t reach out, it was that everyone was, “We’re going to do this,” but it never happened. And just to sort of put me in his mindset a little bit and think, it’s not that you don’t want to get help, you tried to get help, but no one would help you. And you’re already in that mindset that no one cares and that the world’s better off without you.
To go to a health service that essentially paid to help you, but you don’t the help, time and time again, you can feel at a loss. And it’s almost implementing that feeling even more that no one cares. So when Ross said that he was going do this and run days out with men where you don’t have to talk therapy, you don’t have to say, “Oh how are you feeling?” And be put on the spot. It’s just you going out with a group of lads and you know that they’re all there because they’re all struggling but whether you choose to talk about it or not, you don’t have to. It’s just that comfort zone and that support system that you know is there, I think is life-changing and I just wish it was there before I lost my stepdad. I’m running a raffle to try raise as much money and awareness as possible because I think it’s important and I think it’s needed.