Monday, July 6, 2020

Eggsellent effort as businesses dig deep for charity

A Nottingham-based charity that was set up to help bereaved parents of stillborn babies and early baby loss has been inundated with donations of Easter Eggs ahead of a fund raising Easter Egg hunt scheduled for Good Friday.

Forever Stars has received over 200 eggs already thanks to donations from the public and from local businesses including A W Lymn, Sturdy Shed and the Middleton Boulevard and Lambourne Drive Co-op stores. More are coming in every day ahead of the family event, which will be held at the University of Nottingham Sports & Social Club on the main University of Nottingham campus.

Entry is £2 and every child is guaranteed an Easter Egg. The funds raised will be put towards the charity’s ‘Forever In Bloom’ campaign to create a Memorial Garden in the city at Highfields Park, a short distance from the Queen’s Medical Centre.

The Forever Stars Memorial Garden is expected to include areas for reflection, a picnic area, a nature walk and a tree of tranquility, where the names of babies and children can be inscribed upon the leaves. The goal is to provide a place of focus, relaxation and reflection for families.

Forever Stars was set up by Richard and Michelle Daniels after their daughter Emily was stillborn in December 2013 at the city’s Queen’s Medical Centre. The charity has already has raised more than two hundred and fifty thousands of pounds to create “serenity suites” at the QMC and more recently, the City Hospital.

With those suites now funded and completed, Forever Stars wants to create a lasting public space for families that will provide a place of focus, relaxation and reflection for families outside of the hospitals.

Jo Sharp, Operations and Fundraising manager at Forever Stars comments: “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of local people and businesses with their donations of Easter Eggs. It all helps to make the day as big and as brilliant as we can possibly make it for everyone involved and of course will hopefully lead to further funds being raised for the ‘Forever In Bloom’ campaign.

“Since we launched the project we’ve already raised nearly £10,000, boosted earlier this month by a further £900.00 thanks to the support of Sir Paul McCartney who donated a signed box set which was snapped up as a wonderful birthday present. We have a long way to go to reach our garden goal but with events and support like this, we’re confident we will get there.”

Richard Daniels explains: “Our ‘Forever In Bloom’ campaign is a very ambitious step forward for Forever Stars but one that we are proud and excited to be making. The bereavement suites have provided vital immediate comfort and support to grieving families but we feel there is also a need to provide a more lasting space for reflection outside of the hospitals.

“There are memorial gardens all over the world and the UK for various wonderful causes but we don’t have one here in Nottingham for baby loss and we want to change that. We have been able to do so much already with the incredible support we have had and now we need to make the next step for families.”

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