4Louis founder nominated for Best of Wearside award after amazing work for grieving parents

4Louis founder Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.
4Louis founder Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.

Amazing fundraiser Kirsty McGurrell - who has spearheaded a massive drive to help grieving parents - is in the running for a Best of Wearside award.

The campaigner from Houghton described her ‘shock, surprise and honour’ to be in the running for an honour, and added: “Every year is a big year for us and the charity seems to get bigger and bigger.”

Knowing that I can give parents that time and comfort, it means the world to us to be able to do it in the name of Louis

Kirsty McGurrell

Kirsty set up 4Louis after the loss of her first child Louis, who died 12 days before his due date in 2009.

The charity, now based in Washington, produces memory boxes which include items such as a moulding kit for baby’s hands and feet, a candle, a guardian angel figure and teddies for families who have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or child death.

4Louis is now working to raise £100,000 to fund a new bereavement suite at the University Hospital of North Durham after fitting one out at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The suite will allow parents, family and friends time and space to grieve with their stillborn babies away from the sight and sounds of other families celebrating new arrivals.

Kirsty told of the pride it gives her to be able to do this for other people.

“There was nothing like this available when I had Louis.

“Knowing that I can give parents that time and comfort, it means the world to us to be able to do it in the name of Louis.”

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In 2017-2018 alone, 4Louis raised more than £250,000 and it looks on course to smash that figure this year. “The support we have had is overwhelming, especially from BGL.”

The BGL Group, which is a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, has given £50,000 to the cause.

We’ve got off to a great start with nominations for this year’s awards, but we want plenty more and here are lots more details on the 2019 competition.

This year’s competition has backing from headline sponsor BGL Group, partner sponsor Gentoo and category sponsors Stagecoach and Calsonic Kansei.

We thank them all for getting on board, and now comes your turn to get involved.

Read more: Brave Sunderland toddler becomes first Child of Courage nominee

Send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known). Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than mid-February.

You can nominate in any one of three ways.

•Email those entries to lynn.wild@jpimedia.co.uk.

•Send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.

•Visit the website at https://www.bestofwearside.co.uk.

Once we pass the competition deadline, the panel of judges will meet days later to draw up this year’s shortlist of contenders.

Those who are still in the running will learn their fate at the glittering grand finale on Thursday, March 28. Watch out for more details on that coming soon.

After the event, we’ll bring you a supplement with photographs and interviews from the night.

But for now, the main thing is to get those entries in!

The categories

Local Hero.

Green Champion.

Student of the Year.

Fundraiser of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year.

Sporting Achievement.

Community Group.

Community Champion.

Child of Achievement.

Child of Courage.