Over the last three years, a couple from Kettering have been fundraising to support parents who face the distressing loss of their baby at Kettering General Hospital. On 13th March 2020, Sam and Georgia Holland’s world was changed forever when they experienced this devastating loss themselves. Their beautiful daughter, Libby was born 18-weeks premature and passed away shortly after. Ever since, Sam and Georgia have been doing amazing things in memory of their special little girl, raising a phenomenal £29,000 for the Twinkling Stars Appeal for a new maternity bereavement suite at the hospital.
On Saturday 18th March 2023, 140 people gathered at The Park Hotel in Kettering for Libby Holland’s Charity Ball – a very special event that included a 2-course dinner, a raffle and an auction. The Ball raised an incredible £17,102 for the appeal, all in loving memory of Libby. This couldn’t have been achieved without the amazing support from Crown Business Finance and Bailey’s Skip Hire who sponsored the ball. Sam said: “Without the financial help from these two great companies the event would have been much harder to organise.”
Other ways the couple have raised money for Twinkling Stars include selling face masks with stars on them that Georgia’s mum, Dawn had started making during the pandemic, and coordinating a hugely successful raffle that raised a whopping £10,000!
Carolyn Rowbotham, Bereavement and Rainbow Support Midwife said: “On behalf of KGH I want to thank Sam and Georgia for their fundraising efforts over the past 3 years. They have raised a phenomenal amount of money for Twinkling Stars! The ball in March was a wonderful opportunity to remember their very special little girl, Libby.”
Every year at KGH, up to 100 families are cared for who suffer the heartbreak of losing their babies. This can happen during pregnancy, around birth itself, or through compassionate induction – where a baby has genetic problems meaning they won’t survive. Understandably, it is an extremely upsetting and emotional time for bereaved parents and their families.
The current facilities consist of the Snowdrop Room – a standard delivery room within the Delivery Suite, a small room across the corridor containing a refrigerated cold cot and a shared sitting room that is used primarily by parents having normal deliveries and who are celebrating. Being within the Delivery Suite itself, the last thing grieving parents need to hear are the cries of other babies, knowing they will never hear their own baby cry. This is one important reason in particular why Sam and Georgia embarked upon their fundraising mission – they went through this horrendous experience and want to do everything they can possible to make sure other parents don’t have to.
The Twinkling Stars Appeal was set up to raise money to develop a new bereavement suite – adjacent to the Delivery Suite but entirely separate from it. A space where families who have suffered a loss can receive quiet, compassionate and supportive care and spend time with their baby. It will provide a special space where they can grieve for their loss in private. Sam and Georgia have been supporting the appeal tirelessly as they want to help make things better for other parents.
Deborah Needham, Chief Executive Officer at KGH said: “We are truly grateful for Sam and Georgia’s kind support in raising £29,000 for our Twinkling Stars Appeal. The funds raised are going to such an important cause that will make a significant difference to the care and facilities for parents who lose a baby. Thank you so much for everything you have done to raise this wonderful amount in memory of Libby.”
Sam and Georgia’s dedication to fundraising and supporting the Twinkling Stars Appeal has been truly inspirational. Head of Fundraising at Northamptonshire Health Charity, Alison McCulloch said: “We thank Sam and Georgia from the bottom of our hearts. This is an incredible amount to have raised by a lovely family and all to help make things better for other parents going through the same heartbreaking experience. Thank you so much to all of Sam and Georgia’s family and friends, and to everyone involved in raising this fantastic amount for the appeal. It will make such a difference!”
KGH has approved a business case to develop the new Bereavement Suite as well as a new Neo-Natal Unit within the Rockingham Wing on the hospital site. Richard Cook, HIP2 Prorgramme Manager said: “In total almost £4.6 million has been allocated from Trust funds over the next three years to support this redevelopment and the money raised so far by the Twinkling Stars Appeal has been a welcome contribution to this amount.
The Trust is now working with potential developers to further develop its designs for the scheme – which we will do with members of the Bereaved Parents Group – and undertake detailed surveys of the building that will be required before any building work can start. We hope that building work will commence in late spring 2024 and expect this to complete during 2025.
We are so grateful to local people for supporting this development and to the Twinkling Stars Appeal for the fantastic contribution they have made to enable this to happen. Any future funds raised will go towards providing those important finishing touches to the new Bereavement Suite and garden area.”
Making certain changes like this at the hospital wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and commitment to the Twinkling Stars Appeal of people like Sam and Georgia, their family and friends. The money they have raised over the last three years in memory of Libby provides a lasting legacy.
Your donation to the appeal will help make a big difference to bereaved parents at a very difficult time. To find out more about Twinkling Stars and get involved visit the charity’s website: https://northamptonshirehealthcharity.co.uk/twinklingstars