The Twinkling Stars Appeal, which launched earlier this month, aims to develop a brand new bereavement room, family room, quiet room and office separated from the Labour Suite where bereaved families can currently be surrounded by others going through the joy of childbirth.
Kettering General Hospital’s bereavement midwife, Stephanie Fretter, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the way in which local people are coming forward to support the appeal.
“Some of our bereaved families knew we were planning an appeal and have already held fundraising events and are now presenting the money they have raised.
“Other local individuals and staff have held – or are planning to hold – events to support the appeal. Our own midwifery department held its annual ball on November 1 at the Best Western
Rockingham Forest Hotel in Corby and raised £1,800.”
Kettering Park Hotel also contributed £250 to the appeal and presented a cheque to the hospital on November 15.
Each year the hospital’s maternity department cares for up to 100 families who suffer the heartbreak of losing their baby. This can happen during pregnancy, around birth itself, or through compassionate induction - where a baby has so many genetic problems that they will not survive.
Chloe and Chris Turner from Burton Latimer lost their twin girls, Amelia and Alice, shortly after they were born prematurely at 24 weeks on June 3, 2018.
Amelia, who weighed 1lb at birth, died aged four weeks in Leicester Royal Infirmary and Alice, who weighed 1lb3oz, died three weeks after that at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Chloe said: “Amelia and Alice were looked after in hospitals that both had separate facilities for bereaved parents so we were very aware of just how important that is.
“Therefore we wanted to raise money for the appeal which we know is aiming to address that issue at Kettering General Hospital.
“The appeal will enable the hospital to provide appropriate facilities for bereaved parents and their families which are separate from families who are experiencing happy events.”
The couple, along with Brett Owen, from Burton Latimer, raised £5,550 at a fundraising event they arranged called a Charity BASH (Building A Superior Hospital) at the Corn Market Hall
in Kettering on October 11, during national baby loss awareness week.
Brett – who is an entertainer who dresses as many different TV and film characters – put on a disco and organised the children’s entertainment – starring as Spiderman, a Minion, Olaf
from Frozen and Iron Man. There was also live music, a raffle, tombola and cake stalls.
Twinkling Stars appeal fundraiser Jayne Chambers said “We are enormously grateful to Chloe, Chris and Brett for their support and for going to such a great effort to support our new appeal.
“The Twinkling Stars Appeal is Kettering General Hospital’s main fundraising appeal for 2019 to 2020 so we would very much like as many local people as possible to support us.”
The hospital is calling for members of the community and businesses to join in and support the appeal.
Jayne said: “You can run your own fundraising events or help directly by helping us sell raffle tickets for our KGH Christmas Raffle or taking part in fundraising collections.
“If you want to be part of something bigger watch out for our publicised major events on our KGH Charity Fund Facebook page and our Twitter page KGH Charity Fund.
“Whatever you choose to do we will support and publicise your event once you let us know and we are very grateful for everyone’s efforts – however big or small.”
She added: “This is a major opportunity for local businesses to show their support for families who will go through the heartbreak of losing their baby.
“We are asking businesses to consider choosing Twinkling Stars as their charity of the year so that team building events such as sponsored walks, runs, climbs or fun days can help
support the appeal.
“Having a strong local focus will mean employees know they are doing their bit for their local community and hospital.
“It boosts staff morale and is a great example of corporate social engagement. It also offers the chance to generate positive publicity for your company, and demonstrates your brand values to employees, customers, and other business associates.
“We will also work with companies to develop an employee engagement strategy that demonstrates mutual commitment to the partnership.”
In the run-up to Christmas – and Black Friday – you can support the appeal by buying your shopping and gifts online via the website www.easyfundraising.org.uk and searching for and
clicking on the Twinkling Stars Appeal or download the Easyfundraising App.
You can also donate directly to the appeal’s Virgin Money Giving page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Twinklingstars - or go to the KGH website on https://www.kgh.nhs.uk/twinkling-stars-appeal for more information.
Members of the public can also follow the appeal on twitter @kghcharityfund with the hashtag #KGHTwinklingStarsAppeal.
On Facebook you can follow the appeal on the KGH Charity Fund Page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/KGHCharityFund/posts/