Special cot helps grieving parents make memories

East Kent Freemasons donate an Abigail’s Footsteps’ Abi Cooling Cot to Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

A vital piece of equipment that allows parents to be able to spend precious time with their baby after they have died has been donated to Medway NHS Foundation Trust by baby loss charity Abigail’s Footsteps following a donation from the East Kent Freemasons.

The Abi Cooling Cot helps to keep the baby at a cool temperature meaning the child can stay with their parents for longer, giving them the chance to grieve and say goodbye in their own time. As well as helping the parents to make memories during a particularly traumatic and difficult time it also helps them to start to deal with their grief.

Developed by Abigail’s Footsteps in collaboration with The Bond Group, which is based in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, the cot will be available for bereaved families to use in the Trust’s two dedicated bereavement suites, Bluebell and Abigail’s Place, at Medway Maritime Hospital. The bereavement suites provide parents with a safe and comfortable space to spend time with their baby and receive visits from family and friends.

Jayne Black, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely grateful to both Abigail’s Footsteps and the East Kent Freemasons for the cold cot donation.

“This is the fourth cot supplied to the Trust by the charity and it will replace the original cot which was donated over 10 years ago.

“Losing a child is something nobody should ever have to go through but for those who do experience the sad loss of a child, either because they have been born sleeping or due to health complications, the cots help to provide many hours of comfort to bereaved families, which would not have been possible without them.”

Bernie Connolly, Chair of the East Kent Masonic Clay Shooting Team, said, “We know the difference an Abi Cooling Cot can make to bereaved families so when we heard that Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s previous cot needed replacing we were only too happy to help. Our provincial clay shooting team has raised thousands of pounds for charitable organisations over the years so it was a privilege to officially handover the cot to the Trust knowing that bereaved parents will be given a little more time to spend with their baby.”

David Ward, Chief Executive of Abigail’s Footsteps, said, “Abigail’s Footsteps is committed to providing an Abi Cooling Cot to all hospitals across the UK. Thanks to the generosity of those who fundraise for us, to date we have been able to donate over 100 cold cots to hospitals across the UK. We want to express our sincerest thanks to the East Kent Freemasons for their continued support and for donating this replacement cot to Medway NHS Foundation Trust.”

To find out more about Abigail’s Footsteps visit www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk

For more information about how to fundraise for an Abi Cooling Cot please contact faye.hill@abigailsfootsteps.co.uk

About the Abi Cooling Cot

Donations allow Abigail’s Footsteps to distribute Abi Cooling Cots to hospitals across the country. The Abi Cooling Cot keeps the baby at a cooler temperature meaning that the child can stay with their parents for longer, giving families the chance to grieve and say goodbye in their own time.

The Abi Cooling Cot is produced by The Bond Group which is based in Sheerness, Kent. For more information visit www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk/professionals/cold-cots-for-hospitals

About Abigail’s Footsteps

Abigail’s Footsteps is a Kent based baby loss charity providing support and counselling for bereaved parents and families as well as specialist bereavement training for midwives and healthcare professionals.

The charity was founded by parents Jo and David Ward following the death of their daughter Abigail Ward who was stillborn at 41 weeks.

Since 2010, the charity has worked to improve the way bereaved parents are cared for by hospitals and to better educate midwives about how to care for grieving parents. Sadly, stillbirths occur daily, yet many hospitals are not equipped to deal with the parental care required.

By working with medical professionals to understand the issues and seek solutions Abigail’s Footsteps has helped many families across the UK.

For more information about the charity visit www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk