Great Britain

Support still available for South Cumbrian families experiencing baby loss in lockdown

A CHARITY which supports families through baby loss is reminding the public that services are still available throughout lockdown.

The Tigerlily Trust was first set up in December 2012 by Val Isherwood.

Mrs Isherwood, who is from Grange, lost her daughter at 32 and a half weeks in 2011, after which she realised there was very limited support for grieving families locally.

Due to this, Mrs Isherwood, who previously worked in an art gallery, decided to set up The Tigerlily Trust to help bereaved families across South Cumbria struggling to deal with loss caused by miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or terminal illness.

The Grange-based charity provides unique remembrance boxes to families, filled with items geared at helping them overcome their grief.

Many of the items, from blankets to soft toys are hand-crafted by many of Mrs Isherwood’s service users.

Mrs Isherwood said the response to the remembrance boxes has been ‘amazing’.

“We receive so many lovely messages of support of parents telling us they don’t feel alone anymore,” she said.

“Baby loss is such an isolating thing which nobody understands unless they’ve gone though it.

“To help heal it’s so beneficial to speak to other grieving parents who are there to support one another.”

The trust currently offers four support groups across Barrow, Kendal and Lancashire as well as one-to-one support and creative workshops.

However, support networks have had to turn virtual since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs Isherwood said this has been an ‘anxious’ time for struggling parents.

“Covid has been a trigger for people,” she said.

“Baby loss is very isolating and so is this pandemic so parents have been experiencing anxiety, flashbacks, PTSD.

“Within weeks of lockdown, however, we started weekly zoom meetings for anyone needing support and the feedback has been incredible.

"Seeing each other's faces on Zoom each week is what parents look forward to.

"We were going to cut it down to fortnightly but everyone wanted to continue once aweek.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure support continues through the pandemic.”

Support is available on The Tigerlily Trust Facebook page or their website: www.tigerlilytrust.co.uk.

Tigerlily Trust has lost thousands of pounds due to the pandemic, to donate visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1008293.

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