What do we do?
When Henry died in March 2017 we didn't know anyone who had lost a baby, through stillbirth or neonatal death. It wasn't until we visited our local SANDS group that we found people like us, going through what we are going through.
We found these groups so beneficial to our mental health. The regular 2 hour monthly slot to talk about how we have been coping and what we have been finding hard was a welcome release.
I think we found this group so helpful because of the environment that had been created by the befrienders and because of the other parents who attended being so easy to talk to, and we have definitely come away from the group with friends for life that we know we can always talk to.
Before Henry was born I was supposed to be starting a new job which would have meant our whole family moving up north, at the time Henry was born I had handed my notice into work and we had given notice on the house we were renting. When Henry was born so poorly all this had to change and we managed to stay where we were and I was in the same job. In February 2018 we did it, we moved up north and the job I had originally gone for had kept the position open for me.
After the move we needed to build our support network again, this was hard. Beth had gone to a local SANDS group in Wakefield but didn't find this as beneficial as the one we had been to in the south. Not to say the group wasn't good, it just didn't work for her. I hadn't been to any groups at this point and haven't been to any since moving as there weren't any other local group for us to use.
we looked for some other options for us, Beth found some counselling available from a Children's Hospice and I went to Instagram and found a whole community I didn't know existed.
We have for a while now wanted to do something in memory of Henry and use our experience to help others, and as there wasn't a local support group in Barnsley we knew this was an area worth looking into.
Whilst we were pregnant with Madeline we became great friends with the bereavement midwife, Lisa at Barnsley Hospital. And it is Lisa who has given us the nudge we needed to get this off the ground.
We have planned to have three support groups a month, one for parents and family members affected by the loss of a baby, A rainbow baby group for parents who are expecting following their loss, and a family group which will hopefully bring in whole families and children for an afternoon. We have been given exclusive use of a really nice local cafe to hold the groups.
We will use the groups to provide parents with information of where they could find counselling, and various links we have found through social media. As well as it being a place for safe conversation and to be will others that get it.
As of now we have created a facebook page called Henry's Hope where we have listed the group dates. You will find a link to this at the bottom of this page.
We are hopeful that this work in progress will turn into something great.
Our aim through Henry’s Hope is to provide support groups and link in with other charities and organisations to provide families with the support they need. Through our meetings you can meet other families in a friendly relaxed environment, we aim to provide with contact details, resources and information of other charities and support networks to help you through your grief and loss.
We will looking to gift a family each month with something special for them such as a pamper treatment, a day out or a meal to show them they are not alone and we care.
Nobody should be alone in child/ baby loss, together we are stronger. We are here for you.