VANEL’s IGNITE team recently gave their support to a bereaved young mother from Grimsby as she organised a special balloon release event in honour of babies “who are in the sky”.
Twenty-year-old Uniformed Services student and mother of one, Amy Brown, organised a commemorative balloon release called ‘Sky High’ to raise money for the Laurel Ward at Grimsby’s Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, to purchase memory boxes for parents who experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.
In December 2014, following the loss of her baby boy, Luka, four months into her pregnancy, Amy received a memory box from the Laurel Ward. The memory box she received contained photographs, hand and foot prints, a glass angel, blanket, teddy bear, candle, a balloon and flower seeds. The memory box was a “real comfort” to Amy and her family as they tried to come to terms with their grief, so much so that she wanted to ensure that other families would be able to have one, should they also have to go through the trauma of losing a child. The Laurel Ward purchases the boxes from UK based charity 4Louis at a cost of £30 per box.
The event which took place on Wednesday 7th December at the Linden Homes Club on Clee Road, gave families and friends the opportunity to come together and remember a baby who has passed away, and in the process, raise money to help other families going through something similar. In exchange for a small donation, attendees were given a balloon and a tag which they could write a message on and then attach to the balloon. Emotional scenes were had as the balloons were released into the night’s sky following a minute’s silence. The event was a huge success, raising an incredible £265 for the Laurel Ward. Amy hopes to increase this total to at least £300 in order to cover the cost for at least 10 memory boxes and will be creating a JustGiving page shortly, details of which will be available on the VANEL website.
Above: Amy Brown at ‘Sky High’ along with her partner Peter Woods and their daughter Isabella.
When asked how she thought the event had gone, Amy said: “Tonight has been amazing, I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been quite emotional. I’ve been planning tonight’s event for the past three months but it’s all come together in the last month or so. I’ve received a lot of support from my Uniformed Services friends, Lisa Anderson (IGNITE Youth Leadership Mentor), Andy Green (Counting Hope) and Michelle Burton (learning mentor at GIFHE). Without their support we couldn’t have achieved what we have tonight, so I’d like to thank them”.
Click here to read the Grimsby Telegraph’s reporting of the event.
If you have been affected by this issue, you can contact the following organisations for information, advice and support.
The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death)
Bereavement Helpline: 0808 802 6868
The Miscarriage Association
Helpline: 01924 200 799
The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS)
Helpline: 020 7436 5881
The Child Death Helpline
Freephone: 0800 282 986
Additional Freephone number for ALL mobiles: 0808 800 6019
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Helpline: 020 7733 2653 (24 hour message line)