A SOLIHULL stillbirth charity, launched after the founders tragically lost their own baby girl, has been nominated for a national award.
The Lily Mae Foundation was created by teachers Amy and Ryan Jackson after their only daughter, Lily Mae, was stillborn in February 2010.
Wanting to do something positive in the face of such tragedy, the couple raised over £30,000 for national neonatal death charity Sands before creating their own organisation in October 2012 to provide support for grieving families with memory boxes, cold cots and counselling.
“When people think about baby loss they think of the loss of a tiny life,” said Amy, aged 31, on the charity’s website. “Baby loss however is so much more.
“It’s the loss of an entire lifetime, a lifetime of plans, of memories, of hopes and dreams...
“When we left the hospital following the birth of Lily Mae, we left with nothing but a broken heart and our small, but precious memories.
“Gaining charity status has enabled us to set out our aims and objectives for the future but more importantly it has allowed us to determine exactly what the money we raise is used for.”
And just a year on, the Foundation have been nominated for a Butterfly Award, celebrating the achievements of families, organisations and healthcare professionals to help overcome baby loss.
“Obviously it was quite a big shock to be shortlisted for a national award when we have only been around for this year,” said Ryan, also 31.
“There were over 390 nominations so to be whittled down to the final six is showing that we’re definitely doing something right and people are getting the best out of what we offer.
“As parents of Lily it would mean a hell of a lot to win, we’ve really tried to turn a negative into a positive.
“For the charity itself, it would be an absolutely amazing feat and would put us into contact with like-minded people in baby loss across the UK.
“Hopefully, with the extra coverage, it can also help us grow.”
To win, the Foundation need locals to vote for them at www.thebutterflyawards.com before Monday, October 14.
For more information on the charity, visit www.lilymaefoundation.org.