Nottingham Shoppers have voted Forever Stars, an organisation that supports parents of still born babies, as Intu Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh charity of the year.

Nottingham based charity Forever Stars, dedicates time to raising money for services in the East Midlands that support bereaved parents of still born babies.

Richard and Michelle Daniels set up the charity in 2013 after their daughter Emily was still born. Through fundraising the couple have set up Serenity Suites at Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre in 2016 and the City Hospital in 2017.

By winning charity of the year through a public vote, Forever Stars will receive all the penny wish donations that go into the Emett clock fountain, located upstairs in Victoria Centre.

Video: Michelle Daniels, co-founder, tells us about her personal experience with still birth and why Forever Stars was created.

“… THE FACILITIES JUST DIDN’T SEEM RIGHT”

MICHELLE DANIELS

When a tragedy like a still birth happens, being placed back onto a maternity ward can be a traumatic experience. Michelle told us how “when we lost our daughter we had fantastic care but the facilities just didn’t seem right.”

Richard Daniels, co-founder, described how there was only a single chair, single bed and as a father he felt “pretty useless.” He didn’t feel he was able to provide the emotional support he wanted.

Richard Daniels and his son Monty

The Serenity suites are a permanent room away from the maternity ward. These quiet,  private rooms allow you to spend longer with your baby as a family.

These specially designed rooms include a cuddle cot (cold cot), the Moses basket is actually a cooling unit which allows families to spend extra time with their baby by regulating its body temperature. One parent was able to stay in the room for a week to be with their baby.

Audio: Julie Oldwill, a trustee for Forever Stars, tells us about her experience.

“WE WEREN’T FAMILIAR WITH HOW FREQUENTLY STILL BIRTH OCCURS”

MICHELLE DANIELS

In the UK 11 babies are still born every day (NHS England), making still birth 15 times more common than cot death. Michelle Daniels told us how before her own experience she and her husband “weren’t familiar with how frequently still birth occurs.”

 

Projects in 2018.

  • Developing more serenity suites.
  • Providing reading material to help families with the grieving process.
  • Books and bears to help siblings come to terms with baby loss.
  • Funding additional training for midwifery team members at NUH in specific bereavement skills training.
  • Counselling for families and specifically siblings.
  • Memory boxes.
  • Memorial Garden.

Intu Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh are also hoping to provide awareness and practical help during the creation of a the Forever Stars memorial garden.

Nigel Wheatley, general manager of intu Victoria Centre and Broadmarsh, is excited to help on the project adding “In a shopping centre we have carpenters, people who can do grounds work. We’ve got our own team that can just mow lawns and clean things.”

Nigel and baby Alice

Nigel Wheatly told us how the two intu centres are pleased with “the way we have been able to engage with people but also how it has become something people can really become involved with in the selection (of the charity of the year).”

Richard Daniels added how “to be chosen is a real honour for us, it’s great that it was a public vote so it means people are becoming more aware of the charity.”