Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Nottingham charity marks decade of fundraising for baby loss families

Nottingham baby loss charity Forever Stars marked its milestone 10th anniversary last week with a party for its trustees, sponsors, supporters and army of volunteers.

Among the party guests were Nottingham Forest legend John McGovern who did the charity’s first ever fundraiser and continues to support Forever Stars today, and Runners World UK journalist Alice Ball who ran an ultramarathon in Tanzania in 2024 to raise £17,000 for the charity.

Set-up in May 2014 by Richard and Michelle Daniels following the still birth of their daughter Emily on 19 December 2013, Forever Stars has raised almost £700,000 over the last 10 years.

The charity has used the money to support its vision to promote and protect the health of parents affected by still birth, miscarriage or other perinatal or neonatal death of their child or children.

Also joining Richard and Michelle at the tenth anniversary celebrations was Mandy Dann, a bereavement midwife who supported the couple when they lost Emily and with whom they first discussed the idea of setting up the charity within the first few months after losing their daughter.

Richard says: “Among Forever Stars’ first decade’s biggest projects, is the Serenity Suite at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, that opened in April 2016 and for which Forever Stars provided the £185,000 for its construction; the charity provided £145,000 for the creation of the Serenity Suite at Nottingham’s City Hospital that opened in 2017; and the Forever Stars Serenity Garden at Highfield Park Nottingham, which the charity officially opened in July 2021.”

“The Serenity Centre and Serenity Garden are both a personal highlight for me,” he adds. “These took the charity from being a fundraiser for specific projects, through to being a service provider for baby loss families, and I think helped to develop the baby loss community in Nottingham and the wider East Midlands, where everyone supports one another.

“The Serenity Garden has two sculptures and in July last year, we added 700 beautiful petals to these in memory of some of the babies lost by the families the charity has supported since it began life in 2014.”

Forever Stars was officially given charity status by the Charity Commission in England on 9 May 2014, became a Baby Loss Awareness Alliance Partner in October 2018, and hosted its first ever flagship fundraiser the Pink & Blue Ball in October 2019.

“We owe so much to our army of dedicated volunteers and trustees, who work tirelessly behind the scenes and give so much time to the charity every single month,” Richard says. “Our corporate sponsors are also incredible, with many, including SMS – Smart Made Simple, Gleeds, John Pye Auctions, Frontline Recruitment, JMK Wealth Management, Co-op, and Long Eaton Rugby Club, supporting us for many of the last 10 years, alongside newer additions PJS Consulting Engineers, Tesco, Wates, Gateley Legal and Interim Consultant.

“We are also so grateful to the organisations that have appointed Forever Stars as their charity of the year, including Nottingham Forest FC in season 2014/2015.”

Earlier this year, Forever Stars unveiled its challenge that will mark its tenth anniversary milestone. “On 1 March, we officially launched ‘Supporting 1 in 4 for 2024’, so called because one in four pregnancies sadly ends in miscarriage,” Richard explains.

“We are making good progress towards raising our target £50,000 which will be used to finance the renovation and improvement of Ward A23’s clinical and non-clinical areas at Queen’s Medical Centre Nottingham.

“We are also looking for help from local artists and businesses to donate their time, skills and materials for a DIY SOS-style makeover project for A23’s garden, which is in desperate need of a lot of care and attention to make it into a place where families suffering baby loss through miscarriage receive specialist care and support, can retreat to try and deal with the weight of their loss.

“This is one of our biggest ever challenges. We need as many people as possible to join our fundraising efforts to help us to create a truly special environment for the families that need to use the ward. Support – big or small – can make a genuine difference to the lives of families across the East Midlands who rely on A23 during their miscarriage journey.”

Anyone wishing to donate their time, expertise or materials, or fundraise for the charity and the 1 in 4 Campaign, can email:

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