Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Cherished Gowns UK are a registered charity that provides items of clothing to hospitals and bereaved parents around the UK. This enables them to dress a baby lost to miscarriage or that is stillborn allowing parents to make memories with their loved ones. These items are made by our team of UK wide volunteers from wedding dresses that are kindly donated.

In 2015, 4,395 babies were stillborn or died shortly after birth. This is 10 babies every single day that are born sleeping or sadly pass away shortly after they are born. This figures only take in to account any babies that are born after 24 weeks of pregnancy as there are no recorded figures below this gestation. In reality this figure is much higher. There are approximately 200,000 miscarriages each year in the UK, and we are able to offer clothing for babies from 12 weeks gestation.

We currently stock all 237 UK hospitals with our gown packs which include a gown, hat, booties, cloth nappy and a blanket that are given to parents by staff members who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby. We have seven sizes of outfit available from 12 weeks gestation through to full term. The two smallest sizes come with a pair of hats so that the parents can keep one as a keepsake if they wish. We also send these gown packs to parents directly upon request, and all of our services are provided completely free of charge to the recipients.

We have had an increased number of direct requests for gown packs from parents over the last 12 months. Each baby is born innocent and regardless of personal circumstance their parents should be able to dress them if they choose to do so in a dignified manner.

We would like to create an extra opportunity for parents to have the option of dressing their baby, by creating a catalogue that funeral directors are able to show to parents. This gives them the choice of what they can dress their baby in for their funeral. Our aim is to send these catalogues to every funeral director in the UK, informing them that our service is available and that it is completely free of charge to anyone that requires it.

We are the only charity that offers clothing for babies that have sadly passed away on the scale that we already do. We also send out at least 1 gown pack directly to parents every single day. We are already a well utilised service by hospitals and parents and in order to further improve on this we thoroughly believe that the next step is to include another stage of the bereavement process. We have the stock levels and the volunteer power to be able to fulfil any requests that the catalogues may generate.

This project is going to be an ongoing concern, but we are pitching for the initial set up costs of producing a catalogue for the funeral directors and setting up our office in a way that we can maximise our space and fulfil the orders.

Cherished Gowns UK

Location: Dover

This year we have provided 237 hospitals and hundreds of parents with over 100,000 items of clothing. We would like to expand our service to include funeral directors to ensure that every family are given the opportunity to dress their precious baby.
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