Thursday, 29 January 2015

This year is starting to look like it is going to be very busy for all of us at Charlies Angel Centre.

We have started to plan our fundraising events to take place over the next twelve months.

Among the events, we are hoping there will be a bag packing weekend at our local Asda Middleton store. 

Asda have already been very supportive to us and have donated £200 through their green token scheme to our cause.

We are also hoping to have two of our trustees taking part in a sponsored skydive. 

Charlies grandad, Gary, and his uncle, Shane, are both crazy, sorry that should be brave (lol) enough to be giving this skydiving a go. 

We hope that this will bring in a lot of sponsors.

Last weekend we managed to secure a venue for our 2015 Annual Family Fun Day.

I don't want to give too much away yet but it is starting to look like it is going to be another amazing day.

There has already been several companies that have agreed to donate their time and expertise to help us raise funds at this day and we are waiting for many more to get back to us.

It always amazes us at how generous people can be with both their time and skills.

There is going to be another non uniform day at Quarry Mount Primary School, Leeds, where Charlies Nanna works. They have already helped us by raising over £130 in 2014. 

We are also all going to be busy with our continued activity with the local NHS and government departments in our bid to get the provision of support for bereaved families improved.

We will continue to take this fight forward as we know this change needs to happen.

If there is any of our followers out there who feels that they would like to help us with our fundraising please feel free to contact us at

Saturday, 24 January 2015

I read this poem earlier today and it sent a shiver down my spine.

All I could think of was this must be how Carrie feels every

day of her life since losing Charlie.

There are so many women out there going through this 

incredible pain and not all of them have people to support 

and help them.

I know that there is such a need for the provisions available

to bereaved parents and families to be bettered.

With support we will get our support centre and 24 hour

helpline up and running.

We would love this to be sooner rather than later.

We are currently looking at different ways to increase our

bank balance, and are now in the process of planning our

main annual fundraiser.

If you feel you can support us or know people or businesses

that may be interested in helping us please contact us via 

our website :

I am wearing a pair of shoes.

They are ugly shoes.

Uncomfortable Shoes.

I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.

Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes.

They are looks of sympathy.

I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.

They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.

But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the other one who wears these shoes.

There are many pairs in the world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.

Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.

Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by
before they think of how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.

Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger women.

These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Monday, 19 January 2015

How do you know when it is the right time to have another baby after a loss.

How long should you leave it before trying to conceive again.

This is a question I have heard a lot. 

The physical signs are pretty easy to detect. 

A woman can have check ups to make sure that her body is back to its pre pregnancy state. 

This will then tell her that her body is ready to carry another pregnancy.

There is also the obvious signs as in regular menstruation cycle again. 

However when is the right time emotionally to try for another baby.

There is no right time. 

Every couple has to decide themselves when they are feeling ready to try again.

After the loss of a baby this can be a very difficult decision to make.

Many people will be scared to try again for fear of the same thing happening again.

Unless there is a genetic or physical cause for the loss then there is no increased risk of the same thing happening, however knowing this will not make the decision any easier.

If there was a cause detected then the lady will be monitored very closely to try and prevent the same outcome happening if possible.

There is also genetic testing that can take place during any new pregnancy to check for any abnormalities or difficulties that could be encountered.

The biggest hurdle any couple will face is the day to day anxiety caused by any future pregnancies. 

At every stage they will be worrying, wondering if everything is going ok.

People will offer reassurances but these will fall on deaf ears as the couple have already had one traumatic event and in their minds it can happen again.

Despite all reassurances and regular medical checks the couple will not be able to relax until their baby is safely in their arms.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to make that decision to try again.

The couple have to be very strong and brave, and over a 9 month pregnancy this must be exhausting. 

This can take a toll on both of them and can cause tension in any relationship. 

The support from their families is so important during this time and will make a big difference. 

We would love to hear from our supporters on how long they left it to have another child. What things helped them make the decision that the time was right.

Sharing your stories with us can be a great support to other families about to embark on a new pregnancy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Over the last week I have had two families I personally know who have gone through the trauma of losing their baby.

This is two more families that are starting their journey through grief.

I wonder if either of them will be able to access any bereavement support appropriate for them. 

They are both from different areas of the UK, and it would be interesting to find out if the support they receive is any different.

The one thing I do know is that this again highlights the need for increases in the provisions of bereavement support services across England.

It makes me feel so sad to think that there are now two more families that could be missing out on that vital care and support they so need over the next few weeks and months.

I find it scary to think that I have had 2 families within just my circle of friends that have gone through this devastating experience.

Imagine how many families there are then across the UK that have gone through the same situation over the last seven days.

The lack of support for families has to change and it has to change soon. 

There are already too many families out there that have struggled or are struggling to get through their loss without any help.

We are determined that 2015 is going to be a year of change within the bereavement services and the NHS.

We will fight and petition and pester the relevant people to get a change .

Our petition continues and we are still getting more signatures. 

We will continue with this campaign until we see a change.

We will continue to communicate with both local and national NHS services to discuss improvements that NEED to be made.

We will not give up this fight. 
There are too many families out there, many of which have contacted us, that need and deserve this support.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

How do you get back on with life following the death of a baby or child.

There are many different books out there and theories that people have come up with to help people through a loss. 

However every person and family is different.

Some families who have lost a child try to deal with the matter of how to be themselves together or with their community.

They look at ways of making life meaningful again.

They try to develop in the parts of them that did not die with their child or loved one.

They try to get themselves involved with other activities and possibly other relationships.

Most bereaved parents will usually still say that there is always a sense of loss that can never be healed.

After a loss of any close family member, life can never return to 'normal'.

A new 'normal' now takes its place.

Other people say that throwing themselves back into work and old routines helps them to keep on with life. 

The routine helps them to deal with the chaos that is going on in their heads.

They say that having life go back to how it used to be can give them a sense of purpose and belonging. 

This in turn helps them to get their life back on track.

Some would say that this could be seen as the family trying to forget the person they have lost.

A family will never forget a loved one they just learn to live life again without them in it.

I feel that whatever way you find to help you get through the situation is the right way for you.

There is no right or wrong way to move on with life, and whichever way works for you has to be the right way.

There are always people that will criticise or judge families for how they perceive them to be moving on but until they have lived a day in the life of a bereaved family they do not have the right to judge.

We would really like to hear how you have managed to move on with your lives, or if you are still struggling to find your way. 

Sharing ideas can be a great way of helping with the healing or can give families ideas to try to help them on their journey,

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I am sharing with you tonight some lovely pictures I have found that can provide a little comfort at a difficult and stressful time.


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Bereavement Midwives

Where have all the bereavement midwives gone ?

When we were in hospital following Charlies death we were never offered the services of a bereavement midwife. 

I have since spoken with a work colleague who lost her child a few years before Charlie passed away. 

She was lucky enough to have been offered and given support by a bereavement midwife.
She speaks very highly of the midwife she saw and said that it made things easier to cope with having a professional there purely to support her.

We all think that had Carrie been given this support she would have found those first few weeks following Charlies death a little easier to deal with.

It seems obvious to us that this type of support is crucial following such a devastating loss. 
However the government don't seem to see things the same way.

We were told that the funding had been cut for the provision of bereavement midwives and this was why Carrie was not given this vital support.

In 2014 we contacted the NHS to inquire about the provisions of bereavement midwives across the UK.

We were told that Leeds now has 2 bereavement midwives available to cover the whole of the Leeds district. 

They seemed really pleased that they had 2 and felt that this was a good amount.

How can 2 nurses provide the support needed to all the families out there having just lost their babies.

We were also told that not every maternity unit has a bereavement midwife. 

This is usually due to either the size of the unit or type of unit. 

If the unit is only small they may only see a very small number of perinatal deaths thus meaning that a bereavement midwife would not be needed on a full time basis.

I'm sure that this situation is similar across the UK and that the numbers of bereavement midwives available is no way sufficient to provide the correct care to all the bereaved families.

We also asked about the role of the bereavement midwife. 
We were told that there is no nationally defined role descriptor for a bereavement midwife and many work as part of a multi professional team whilst others work in their own specialty.
They went on to say that many midwives who have an interest in bereavement support will provide this in addition to their current role.
During their training all student midwives will have some element of bereavement care and support. 
However this is not a standard training package that all students receive. 
How this training and how much training is given will depend on the locally delivered curriculum based on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for pre registration midwifery education.
We feel that there should be a national training strategy that all student midwives are given regardless of where they are training.
 At least then it would mean that all qualified midwives would have all had a basic training in supporting bereaved parents and families.
In an ideal world there would be enough bereavement midwives to ensure that all parents having experienced a loss will be given immediate and effective support.
We know this isn't an ideal world but it would be good to see that there are bereavement midwives available at all maternity hospitals and that parents can access them within a 24 hour period.
If the coordinated package of aftercare that we are petitioning to get was available to all bereaved families, and bereavement midwives were readily accessible it would save the NHS thousands of pounds in mental health support and counselling waiting lists would be vastly reduced.