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“It’s been wonderful to have people’s support”

Thankfully, most of us will never need the services of a children’s hospice. But many of us know someone who does. Perhaps it’s someone who lives on your street, someone you’re friends with on Facebook, or someone you work with.

And when you know someone who has lost a child or is caring for a child with a life-shortening condition, it’s natural to want to help them. But it can be hard to know how best to do that.

For one family in Halifax, the fundraising activities undertaken by the community in their son’s name, has meant the world. “It’s been wonderful to have people’s support,” mum Serena said.

Serena and her partner Andrew were cared for by Forget Me Not when their baby Leo sadly passed away at just 24 hours old, having suffered severe brain damage during birth. “We will never get over losing our Leo, but the immense respect, support, kindness, love and care the hospice has shown Leo, my partner and I, has made the absolute difference to how we’re coping and recovering from his loss.”

Over the last year, Leo’s story has inspired friends, family, work colleagues and businesses to raise an incredible £11,720 as well as donating approximately £4,000 worth of goods to sell in our shops!

Starting with a Mother’s Day Walk in March with family and friends which raised £1,740, word has spread and hundreds of people have got involved.

Staff at Lloyds Bank, where Serena works, have been fundraising with bake sales (including a recreation of the Bake Off!), fun runs, raffles, sponsored walks and taking part in our Day to Donate. One person even took on the Great North Run! Lloyds Bank itself has also made a £5,000 donation from its community fund.

Other Halifax-based firms, Communisis and Nestle (where Andrew’s mum works), have also raised funds for the family, with the latter donating lots of Quality Street to the hospice too!  

Serena said, “Forget Me Not’s support for us has been so impactful it’s meant we’ve been able to raise awareness of the hospice’s work and encourage others to help us raise funds.”

A huge thank you and well done to everyone at Lloyds Bank, Nestle and Communisis for showing their support for Serena and Andrew, and helping us to make a difference to other families like theirs.