By Annabel Davies, Funeral Director
Being nominated for The Butterfly Awards for a second time is a true honour.
When I returned to work after a pregnancy loss, I knew I wanted to do more to help other parents going through the same thing.
As well as campaigning for local councils to offer free cremation services for infants, I’ve also done work directly with parents who’ve lost a baby. The first thing I did was help set up a support group for parents to get together and share their experiences and support one another. This has led me to create a library so everyone and anyone can access information they need.
I’ve also accepted donation of two cuddle cots, along with various sized Moses baskets and cribs, to allow parents to spend time with their angel baby. From the experience I’ve had, this time can often be essential when people are grieving and creating the right environment for this is so important.
My work has also expanded from working with parents who’ve lost a child, I’ve also started appreciating the amazing work done by specialist units looking after neonatal and premature babies. I started a campaign encouraging members of the public to knit clothes to donate to these units. So far, seven units have received clothes, and some have even been sent to Uganda, where specialist care isn’t always available.
Each year the Butterfly Awards recognise professionals from across a range of sectors, for the work they do supporting families through the loss of their baby.
I’m especially proud to have been nominated for these awards as they also recognise families for the strength and courage they show during a bereavement.
I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony on 19 October. It’s held near Coventry so I’ve got a long way to travel, but it will be worth it.
Although last year was so emotional, I met some amazing people. We had a candle lit service in memory of our angel babies and watched videos and heard speeches from some inspiring people. We all supported each other, united by our grief.
I’m grateful to all who supported me – especially on the night when all that was left of me was a melted mess of mascara in a ball gown!
I wanted to share my enormous thanks and heartfelt gratitude to all who’ve voted and left messages of support, I appreciate it beyond words.
Unfortunately voting has now closed, but I wanted to use this chance to raise awareness about the awards. I’ll post on Yammer to let you know how I get on and share some pictures of the evening.