A BEREAVED couple are hoping to gain charity status to support local families hit by stillbirth and neonatal death after the tragic death of their daughter.
Ryan and Amy Jackson, aged 30 and 31, from Balsall Common, set up the Lily Mae Foundation in February 2010.
It’s named after their daughter who was tragically stillborn and the Foundation has since raised awareness and over £28,000 for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, SANDS.
“It’s still such a taboo subject, people don’t like speaking about it,” said Ryan.
“You hear about miscarriage but never about stillbirth. I didn’t know anything about it before it happened.
“We wanted to help others who are going through what we went through. Focusing on others helped distract me from the pain.”
The couple have also fundraised to buy “cold cots” for local hospitals, which cool deceased babies allowing the grieving family chance to spend time with them.
“We only had a limited time with Lily Mae, she was kept in a mortuary. We wanted to let other parents spend that crucial time alone with their babies,” he added.
Now the couple are hoping to gain charity status for their foundation to help more local families suffering the loss of a child.
“It will give us more scope to where the money will go.
“We would particularly like to help support families towards funerals and gravestones for their children.
“We were lucky we could afford to give her a gravestone and a funeral. But plenty of families won’t have that luxury.
“At the end of the day, it’s their child. Even though it’s dead, it still lived and that should be remembered.”
Ryan and Amy, who now have two little boys, are urging locals to help the Lily Mae Foundation become a charity by putting themselves forward to become charity trustees.
They are also appealing for a solicitor to volunteer to help them through the process.
For more information, visit www.lilymaefoundation.com or call Ryan on 07853 969 073.