Sunderland charity 4Louis launches memory boxes with a difference
4Louis, based at Pallion Industrial Estate, has reached out to countless parents going through the trauma of still birth, miscarriage or losing a young child with its memory boxes which help people to keep mementos of their little one.
More than 2,000 boxes a month are distributed to around 800 medical units around the UK, but now there’s a version which is suitable for Muslim families and their faith.
Kirsty McGurrell, who founded the charity with her family after the death of her first son Louis 12 days before his due date in 2009, said: “Our memory boxes have always been generic, but slightly edited for wards, such as paediatric or neo-natal.
“We’d been asked by midwives about boxes that were suitable for followers of Islam because of the need for things like a shroud. The babies are buried within 24 hours, but hospitals don’t have the necessary shrouds so it meant dad would have to be going to the mosque to get one, when he could have been spending that time with his wife and child.”
Kirsty, who is mum to Mitchell, nine; Oskar, seven and Daisy-Mae, two added: “Around this time a Muslim family from Luton lost their little boy called Ibraheem and said they’d like to help consult on what was appropriate for the boxes.”
Named Ibraheem’s Gift, the boxes contain items including a shroud, attar (natural oil), an Islamic baby book and tasbih prayer beads.
Around 500 of the boxes have already been distributed to hospitals around the country, including Sunderland Royal Hospital, and were also delivered to midwives at a national bereavement forum funded by 4Louis.
Not only has Kirsty won Best of Wearside Awards for her charity, which delivers the boxes free of charge, she’s also been recognised nationally with a Points of Light Award from the then Prime Minister Theresa May.