Local charity celebrates new home to offer extra support

Local charity, The Lily Mae Foundation, are celebrating new office space which will allow them to offer even more support to parents and families affected by stillbirth and neonatal death.

 

Having carried out amazing work from their own home for the last four and a half years, founders  of the charity, Amy and Ryan Jackson felt it was time to reclaim their dining room and bedrooms and expand into a bigger space. Now they can continue to provide memory boxes to four local hospitals and have a venue for meetings and support sessions with bereaved parents and relatives.

From the base at Fernhill Court on Balsall Street East, the Lily Mae Foundation plans to offer support to parents and relatives. One of the advantages of the space is that it has a separate room, named the Butterfly Room by sons Alfie and Freddie Jackson, where support can be offered in a really homely environment. Following an appeal for help from Amy, Leekes furniture store Coventry went above and beyond the request, and provided around £3000 worth of furniture as well as a voucher for Amy to spend in store on finishing touches.

 

The Mayor of Solihull with Alfie, Freddie and Amy Jackson.
The Mayor of Solihull with Alfie, Freddie and Amy Jackson.

 

Amy explains: “We’ve found that although there is some help and support for parents who are affected by stillbirth, most of the counselling support available is provided by people who have not been personally affected by stillbirth and they can’t really understand how it feels. Having been through it ourselves we find that we can connect with other families in the same situation. This new room will allow us to talk to a lot more parents and provide that extra support. We’re so grateful to Leekes for their very kind donation to make the room comfortable and welcoming.”

 

Amy went on to thank Adrian Griffiths from GVA and Next who also responded to her request for help. Adrian provided furniture for the office and meeting room and Next provided the soft furnishings to further enhance these spaces.

 

Amy and Ryan, along with friends and family, set up the charity in memory of their daughter Lily Mae. They, and fellow trustees, have spent a huge amount of time trying to improve the services offered to parents who are affected by the death of a baby. The memory boxes they provide to Heartlands, Warwick, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Good Hope Hospitals have evolved over time to contain more and more items that parents really value to capture precious memories of their babies.  The Lily Mae Foundation provides as many memory boxes as are needed by the hospitals.

 

Lily Mae Foundation trustees celebrate new premises
Lily Mae Foundation trustees celebrate new premises

There is also a monthly support group at the Drum and Monkey in Dorridge, and lots of other informal support is  given to bereaved parents and families who contact The Foundation. The trustees of The Lily Mae Foundation are all volunteers and the charity relies on donations and fundraising events to fund its amazing work. To find out more or to donate go to www.lilymaefoundation.org or text Lily10 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070.

 

 

By Claire Turner