Monday, 30 May 2016

We haven't put a shout out about our Shop4Charity site for a while so thought I would give you all a reminder.

Shop4Charity approached us a while ago to see if we were interested in signing up with them. 
At the time this happened we were still a very young charity and were still learning on the job. 
It was still surprising to us when companies got in touch to help us. The fact that they had heard about us and wanted to help us was so amazing.
Once we had read all about the company we were happy to get involved. 

Below is the release we put together to advertise the venture.

"The Leeds Based Charlies Angels Centre has teamed up with Shop4Charity to create a fundraising opportunity for the charity.

Charlies-Angel-Centre is here to help and support anyone affected by the death of a baby or child, in as many ways as we possibly can.

Our website will always continue to be a main focus as a valuable resource for families after a child's death, but as time has moved on Charlies-Angel-Centre has grown too, and we now 
do so much work behind the scenes to improve bereavement care for parents and families who have lost there child.

Shop4Charity is a website set up to raise funds for good causes with over 20,000 gifts, many of which are licensed and include some of the worlds biggest brands such as Disney, Warner Bros and one of the biggest selections of football related products.

Every sale makes a minimum of 10% for the charity.

Ruth Curtis from the Charity had this to say about the new partnership "We think it is a lovely thing that Adam is doing, and a great way to give back to the community. The website is a lovely thing to do, and that is the kind of people we want to work with because it's all about 
working with people and giving something back. 
Adam is very keen on helping other people, which is something you don't see much of today. 
It's nice to find someone that wants to help.

Hopefully, we want to raise as much funds as we can to help our charity and to promote what we're doing. 

From this partnership, we hope to spread the word of what we're doing and help the families that need it most."

Adam Maddock from Shop4CharityUK said "We have already raised substantial sums for other charities and believe this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to donate to charity whilst finding a perfect gift for yourself or others. 
We are honoured to help this cause and really hope we can help raise as much funds as possible for them to meet their goals."

Do your shopping  and help the charity on

Please spread the word to all your friend about this site and help us to raise as much money as we can.

We still get blown away by the people who want to help us and bereaved families. 
Every penny raised goes straight into the funds to provide the support, friendship and hope we give to bereaved parents and their families.

Thank you all for the support you continue to show to us it really does make a difference.

Monday, 23 May 2016

With every week that passes the closer we get to our Autumn Ball. 

Excitement is bubbling inside us and we are still feeling a little stunned by how many people have contacted us with offers of help, be it through offering services for the night to donations of prizes for the auction.

Everything is starting to slot into place and we are confirming things for the evening. It is looking to be an amazing night with many different things happening throughout.

We would however like to put out a shout for any businesses out there that would like to become sponsors for the event. We already have a few on board but are always looking for more to come along. 

We are looking for sponsors for different things.

The main Headline sponsor is our most expensive option at £350. 

If you choose to go for this option you do get a lot of publicity for your business. 
We will give you a table of 8 seats at the event along with your business being publicised in the programme and on the tables. You will also receive publicity on our website and our social media sites.

If this is not for you then we can offer other options, 

A table sponsor is our next opportunity, this costs £250 and gives you a table of 8 tickets alongside your business logo on the table.
You will also appear within the programme for the event as well as on our website and social media sites.

The next way you could get involved is by sponsoring a specific item e.g.
Complimentary drinks on arrival
Table decorations
Chair covers
Goodie bag items

This option costs from £50 - £100 and might be a more affordable option for smaller businesses that want to support us.

Every sponsor will be included within our programme for the evening so every guest will see your business logo. You will also get credit on our website, social media sites and in the goodie bags given out at the end of the evening to every guest.

A final way you could become involved is by donating a prize for the auction. This could be a service that your business provides, again giving you more publicity, or a gift donation unrelated to your work.

We hope that you can see how we could benefit each other by you coming on board as a sponsor. 

You will also be helping so many parents and families out there struggling with their grief following the death of their baby or child. 
Every penny raised by the event goes to help us continue to provide the support we offer as well as helping us build the funds to open our own support centre in Charlies name.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Over the last 3 days we have had two fundraising events for our charity.

On Saturday a wonderful lady called Corrie took part in the Gung Ho Leeds. 
If you have never heard of it, it is like a bouncy castle assault course for adults across a 5k course.

The event was at Temple Newsam House and there were thousands of people there all taking part for charities close to their hearts.

I took along my 3 granddaughters to help me cheer Corrie and her partner, Ben, along their way. 

We saw many ambulances being called out during the day to injured participants and we held our breaths a few times hoping that Corrie was not one of them.

We waited patiently cheering other competitors on and I must admit a little jealous that we were not joining in.

At the beginning Corrie had said that she would come down the large slide obstacle to finish the race and would not choose the high jump as her end obstacle. 
We were very surprised to then see her joining the queue to make the jump. She was amazing and jumped off like she did this kind of thing every day. 
My granddaughters were cheering her on throughout the day and you could see that they were really pleased that she made it round in one piece.

We are so thankful to Corrie for choosing to run the race for Charlies Charity and so far she has raised £280.

Then last night we had our evening of mediumship at The New Middleton. We had 2 mediums come along, Adrian Clarke and Jackie Kershaw, and they gave their time for free. We can't thank them enough for their generosity. 

It is the first time we have hosted such an event and were a little nervous hoping that lots of people would come along. 
We needn't have been worried, lots of people came along to support us.

The evening was a great success and many people received messages from their loved ones, including me. 
I was really happy to hear from my mum, and felt that she knew I needed the boost of hearing from her to cheer me up. 
Another of our trustees was also lucky to get a message from his dad. 

We held a raffle during the evening and were amazed at how many people bought tickets.

When we totaled all the ticket sales and the raffle sales we had raised a fantastic £450.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our events over these last few days, without you we wouldn't be able to keep up the support to bereaved families. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

We have had a really really busy week for the charity. 

Most people would rather have quiet weeks but we welcome the fact that we are getting busier and busier as it means that more and more people are being signposted to us for support.

We have worked so hard to get our charity out there and for people to take us as a serious bereavement charity.

Now it feels like all that hard work is really starting to pay off. 

Everyday we are hearing that bereaved families are now being given our leaflets and contact details as a first point of contact.

Our local NHS and community nurses are now forwarding families onto us for support and the probation services have started to contact us. 
Even other bereavement services have began to forward families to us. 
They have been dealing with so many referrals and some of them not always appropriate for their areas of expertise. 
They are now saying that we are filling that gap and are ensuring that those families are now getting the right kind of support they need.

We are so pleased that we are now able to offer so many families the help, friendship and support they so badly need.

Our experiences have shown us that not all families are able to get that help but now we feel that as more get referred to us then they will get it. 

Our sights have always been set on becoming a UK wide charity with centres in as many cities as possible. 
Now this feels like it will definitely happen and probably much earlier than we thought. 
We already get families contacting us from all over the UK and even from families in other countries. 

Leeds NHS has often said in meetings that they want to be the flagship city for bereavement support and we feel that now they are starting to seriously look at the current provisions maybe this can become a reality. 

Our aim has always been to work with the NHS and other agencies to ensure that support is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the more offers of support families receive the less chance there is that they will fall through the net and be left to cope alone.

No family should ever have to go through the loss of their baby or child alone and we truly believe that Charlie was given to us for a reason. 

That reason is now coming to fruition.

Changes to bereavement support is starting to happen and we will continue to fight until it gets to the point where no family will ever suffer alone.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

When you are a bereaved family each day can be an enormous challenge. 

When you are first thrown into this new way of life, and it truly is a new way of life, everything is a blur. 

The hours just go by without you even realising it and days turn in to weeks so quickly. 

The people around you try to keep you in some sense of normality but to be honest you don't really notice what they are doing. 

If your lucky and the professionals are involved, they will provide you with the basic physical things your body needs to keep going and to mend e.g medicine and food. Your body almost starts to run on auto pilot, you know it needs energy and rest but the actual task of doing this can feel like an insurmountable goal.

Once you arrive back in your home your instinct is to lock the doors, close the curtains and hide away from the world. The reality is that you now have to deal with the task of arranging things like funerals and registering your babies birth and death (which is done at the same appointment).

After you have survived those initial 2 - 3 weeks your life seems to move on in slow motion. The world is going on around you and many will have their support systems diminish as family return to work and their 'normal' routine.

Those first 12 months, filled with 1st anniversaries, are the hardest 12 months that many will ever have to deal with. To get to the end of that year is an achievement that those who have never suffered a loss cannot imagine.

The bereaved family then move on to the rest of their lives as a grieving family. They are then faced with the public perception that "they must be over their loss by now"

They will never be over their loss, no matter how many years pass that loss will always be there. As time passes it may not feel so raw but it is always there.

We are now in our fourth year of being a bereaved family and there are days when we all struggle to keep functioning. 
We have turned our grief into our motivation to keep fighting for changes to bereavement support. 
Sometimes I think we also use it as an escape from our pain. The busier we are the less time we have to think.

Our charity is going from strength to strength and by being busy it helps us to carry on without Charlie in our life.

We will all have times when we struggle but we know we can rely on the other family members to keep us going or to take over our role for a while whilst we get ourselves back on track.

If you are the friend or a family member of someone who is going through grief please remember to check in on them every now and then. 
This may seem a small thing to ask but to them it can make a huge difference to their day, week or month. 
Many people will stop talking to them about their baby scared that they will upset them or 'set them off crying'. 
They will truly appreciate you talking about their baby, they want to talk about them to keep their memory alive. Not talking about them can often be more hurtful as it feels as if everyone has forgotten their child.

As we move into the next stage of our charities development, and we begin to progress with the support we can offer to families we will always take time out to remember our motivation. 

Charlie was an amazing little boy with the most beautiful face. He showed strength and courage and fought strongly to the end. 

We feel honoured and proud to share him with the world and hope that through his fight we can continue to support other families struggling with their loss.

He has already made lots of changes to the current provision of bereavement support and we know this will continue to increase as our cause spreads across the UK.