A CHARITY which started from one family’s drive to help parents through the grief of stillbirth is going from strength to strength.
Since delivering their very first batch of keepsake boxes to Sunderland Royal Hospital in December 2009, the mementos handmade by the 4Louis charity are now in place in 120 hospitals across the country.
They are given to families affected by the trauma of stillbirth and neonatal death to help them create lasting memories of their little ones.
The boxes have become such a lifeline of support that they have now had new additions made to them.
Kirsty Mcgurrell, 25, from Houghton, and her family hand-pack the boxes at their offices in Peterlee, which will now include items suggested by families who have found them a comfort.
Kirsty was inspired to start the charity after her first son Louis died from stillbirth in December 2009.
She said: “Things are going really well with the charity and, through word of mouth, 120 hospitals stock the boxes in their neonatal units, A&E and paediatric units.”
Kirsty, who is mum to Mitchell, three, and Oskar, one, added: “We’ve listened to feedback from people they’ve helped and decided to add some new items. They now have an inkless wipe set which you can use to create a lasting print of babies’ hands and feet, a balloon which can be released in memory, forget-me-not seeds, a Guess How Much I Love You book, SD cards for photos and an acknowledgement of life certificate.
“Babies who are born before 24 weeks get no certificate, while parents of still born babies get a stillbirth certificate so this is a recognition of the fact that life existed.”
The charity is constantly fund-raising for money to create the boxes which are given to hospitals free of charge.