A charity which brings solace to grieving parents has been extended – and now it’s gone international.
Kirsty McGurrell runs the 4Louis charity, formerly based in Peterlee and now in Washington, which creates keepsake boxes so that people who have lost a child can capture as many memories as they can.
The idea has won the hearts of families across the UK. The boxes are supplied to 213 hospitals across the country, including Sunderland and South Tyneside, and to the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said Kirsty.
But now the demand has extended even further.
4Louis has been asked to supply British Armed Forces camps, including ones in Germany, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.
Kirsty, who formed 4Louis after her son was stillborn in 2009, said: “We were approached by a woman who works for the Medical Defence Welfare Service. We were asked if we could supply camps with our boxes.
“If a serviceman goes to somewhere like Germany and if his partner is pregnant and loses a child, the boxes are there for that person.”
Demand for the 4Louis service is so great, it supplies between 200 and 300 boxes a week.
A small team consisting of Kirsty and seven volunteers spend every week at the 3,000 sq ft base on the Hartburn Industrial Estate filling the boxes.
Each memory box contains treasured items including a card, so the family can write a poem or letter to baby; a curl box for a lock of the baby’s hair, a balloon, and a postcard.
It also includes a clay cast to capture an impression of baby’s hands and feet; an inkless wipe to capture imprints of baby’s hands and feet; a glass angel in a box; a candle; an acknowledgement of life certificate; plantable paper with forget-me-not seeds; and a Guess How Much I Love You box.
Kirsty would love to hear from more people interested in volunteering to help 4Louis. Go to www.4louis.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org