Newly formed charitable organisation, Cradle, – a service for healthcare professionals and bereaved parents – has two new ambassadors at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).
WWL’s Bereavement Midwife, Sarah Howard, and a Wigan mum, Rebecca Outterside, will join the national team of early pregnancy loss ambassadors, all of which have experienced ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, missed miscarriage, molar pregnancy or compassionate induction.
Each ambassador is linked to an NHS Trust of their choice, often where they received care during the loss of their own baby or in some cases babies.
Rebecca, who is married to Tom, lost twin girls, Georgina and Harriette, in November 2018 at just 22 weeks and two days.
She said: “Volunteering and supporting Cradle is something that is very close to my heart.
“We since fell pregnant and we welcomed our very special rainbow baby, Matilda Hope, into the world in October 2019.”
As well as providing training, support, and focus groups, Cradle donates emergency comfort bags that are made available to bereaved parents who have been admitted into hospital unexpectedly to help bring them some comfort during a difficult and stressful time. The bags include many items from toothbrushes and toothpaste, wipes, slippers, hairbrush and bobble, soap and Sunflower seeds to plant a flower in memory.
However, the most important thing in a Cradle comfort bag is the ‘Dear Friend’ letter, which signposts women from their hospital beds immediately to the Cradle support network on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, a safe space to ask questions and where peer support is provided.
Sarah, who works at the Trust’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and supports bereaved families, says the bags will provide vital care.
Sarah said: “Being a Cradle ambassador means a great deal to me, I listen to women’s experiences on a regular basis and the importance of having the little items ready and available when you are admitted unexpectedly and losing your baby can not be underestimated.
“The opportunity of working with a team which has the support and energy of the parents who are also Ambassadors for Cradle is an amazing experience – especially when we are experiencing challenges as we are at the moment.”
Sarah added: “I would also like to thank the Cradle Ambassadors and donors for their generosity in supplying two bags of around 100 hand creams and moisturisers for NHS staff use.”
To support her work as a Cradle ambassador, Rebecca is hosting a charity raffle with a whole host of prizes ranging from food hampers, gym packages, afternoon tea vouchers, photography vouchers, hairdressing treatments, Spanish lessons, cabaret vouchers and theatre tickets, among others.
The draw will take place on May 3rd and to purchase tickets (£5 a strip or three strips for £10) email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a full list of raffle prizes visit Rebecca’s Twitter account @francaisespanol. Rebecca has also set up a Facebook group for those who have suffered loss. Simply search ‘Cradle Wigan’.
If you wish to support Cradle in another way, please feel free to donate toiletries (please refrain from anything containing lavender). These can be taken to the drop off point at McGuire’s Funeral Directors, Gidlow Lane, Wigan.
“We’ve also been given such an amazing donation towards our bags at WWL by Lindsay Stanton,” added Sarah.
“Lindsay lost her son Zak in October 2015 and was very keen to support Cradle Wigan in his memory.
“She has collected an unbelievable amount of toiletries such as 204 shower gels, 10 pairs of spa slippers and 20 shampoo/conditioners – and that’s not even all of it!”
At present there are 78 Cradle ambassadors, of which some are NHS professionals. By 2021 Cradle expects to be a team of 200 ensuring a bespoke Cradle service is provided in all NHS trusts in the UK by 2023.