A while back I had an idea that was nudged by a post in a Facebook group I’m part of (set up) called Stitch and Bitch 2015. A lady posted in the group about a blanket request for Sands for the Memory Boxes they give to bereaved parents after a stillbirth or neonatal death. The blankets are all white and are there for the parents in a time where everything is turned on its head at what should be a happy moment. I wanted to take part and then of course, my own life got in the way, I started my college course, work got stressful and we moved house. But the idea stuck and niggled and eventually I came up with my own solution. I would make a blanket and raffle it off, with all the proceeds going straight to Sands.
The blanket took a couple of goes to get going, there was much unravelling and swearing under the breath but eventually, like most things, it began to take shape. Husband was, as per usual, my sounding board from everything stitch related right up to the pictures of the final object. Today, in the amazing weather, I finished the blanket and wove in the ends, making sure it was as perfect as a handmade blanket will ever be. I’m not saying its a work of art or even an heirloom to come, but it is made with love, buckets of the stuff. I don’t have kids yet – one day I hope to and one day I hope to wrap a blanket around my baby.
The reason I picked Sands is simple; I know too many families who have lost a baby to stillbirth or as a very small baby to a different reason. I cannot begin to imagine the pain those families have been through. I’m studying my access course to eventually be able to train as a midwife and I know that stillbirth will be a part of my job as a midwife. Sands are there when the midwife goes off shift, when the family has to leave the hospital and when they have to face the future without their baby and I really hope they can continue to do the amazing work they have been doing for so long.
For those who haven’t heard of Sands, here is a quick look at when and why they formed, taken from the Sands website:
“In the mid-1970s, Bel Mooney, a journalist, and Hazelanne Lewis, a psychiatric social worker, both gave birth to stillborn babies. At that time in the UK, most parents were not allowed to see or hold their babies, no photographs were taken, parents were not told where their babies were buried, and they could not put their baby’s name on the stillbirth certificate. Bel wrote an article in the Guardian describing her experience, and Hazelanne then wrote to national newspapers asking bereaved parents to contact her and share their stories. An avalanche of replies from all over Britain revealed a vast unrecognised need for support and information for parents and families.”
This blanket is just a blanket but if you want a chance of winning, please pop over to the JustGiving page and give a quid. £1 is all it takes to enter the draw – leave your name and email address* and I’ll add you to the list. The draw will close at 7.30pm GMT on 6th October, so there is plenty of time to enter. Tell anyone you think might be interested, whether it’s because they like crocheted blankets, a raffle or they want to donate to a cause that hopefully most people will never need.
Raffle entry HERE!
*your email address will only be used by me to contact you in the event your ticket is the winning ticket.