A team of fathers who have experienced the tragedy of baby loss will be setting out on a whole new challenge next month when they take on the National 3 Peaks Challenge on May 17th for local charity Forever Stars.
The group of dads who are from around the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area are led by Daniel Barnett from Sawley and Jon Conwill-Brittain from Wollaton.
Jon is one of the Forever Stars charity trustees, along with his wife Nicola. They lost their baby boy, Miles, at 37 weeks, just 6 days before a planned c section. Jon will be walking in memory of Miles and to raise funds and awareness for dads just like him.
Jon said: “This is a really fantastic opportunity to not only raise much needed funds for the charity but also get men thinking and talking about the impact of baby loss. I’ve been keen to work on an initiative like this for some time and I’m very proud to be part of a team that will be helping men just like ourselves to do just that.”
Jon is joined on the team by Daniel Barnett, who last year led a team of 100 fundraisers around the gruelling 30-piece Warrior Assault course at Holme Pierrepont, raising over £15,000 in the process for Forever Stars.
Their team of 8 have now been boosted by the news that local football legend Nigel Jemson will be joining them, as they set out to raise awareness of baby loss and its effect on fathers as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as funding for the Forever Stars Remembrance Garden at Highfields Park.
The garden will aim to help bereaved parents of stillborn babies and early baby loss by creating a place of ‘focus, relaxation and reflection for families’.
The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales, often within 24 hours, as will be the case for the Forever Stars team.
The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft) – twice the ascent of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, over a similar total walking distance. The total driving distance is 462 miles.
Daniel said: ‘This will be a huge challenge for all of us but one we feel we must take on, not only to raise much needed funds for the incredible work of Forever Stars but also to raise awareness of the issue among men.
“We’re not the best at talking about our feelings and emotions and there is a lot of work that needs to be done with dads and men around baby loss so the timing is perfect for us as the challenge is happening during Mental Health Awareness Week.
“We want to get dads and men thinking and hopefully talking about this critical issue and breaking the taboo and silence on baby loss. I’m so proud that Nigel has joined the group as he will not only be great for our morale and a boost to the team but will help us to really get the message out there.”
Founded by Nottingham parents Richard and Michelle Daniels, Forever Stars is an East Midlands charity dedicated to supporting families who’ve suffered a stillbirth or infant loss, helping to support bereaved families across the region.