[W]est Cumbrian charity Team Evie is raising awareness of the specialist services it provides to bereaved families of young babies, during Dying Matters Awareness Week (14 to 20 May 2018).
The charity’s overall mission is to help sick children and their families, and an important element is supporting parents through the trauma of losing a baby. This includes emotional care in the form of bereavement support groups and forums and practical assistance such as hospital care packages for parents and babies.
Team Evie was founded by Greg and Jill Johnston in memory of their daughter Evie, who was diagnosed with congenital heart disease in the womb and had 14 operations to battle life threatening medical conditions in her short life. When Evie passed away at six months old, Greg and Jill found there was no support in their local area for bereaved parents and they resolved to draw on their experience to help others faced with similar challenges.
In addition to its long-standing bereavement services, Team Evie can now provide a Cuddle Cot on loan to local families following the loss of a baby. The temperature-controlling unit – used with a Moses basket also available from Team Evie – allows parents to bring their baby home from hospital and spend precious time saying goodbye. For bereaved parents, forming a bond with their baby in the family home is an important part of dealing with their loss. Team Evie is working with funeral directors to offer the Cuddle Cot free of charge to local families.
Team Evie co-founder Greg Johnston said: “Losing a baby is heartbreaking and parents can feel isolated and lost in the aftermath. Team Evie is here for families throughout it all, and we’ve created a support system based on our own personal experiences. No expectant parent wants to think about this happening, but it’s important that people know about the help and advice we offer.”
The charity has launched a dedicated area of its website for bereaved parents, including details of how to request the Cuddle Cot. Team Evie will be raising awareness of these thoughtful services during Dying Matters Week (14 to 20 May), a campaign to place the importance of talking about bereavement on the national agenda.