Every year 6,500 babies are stillborn or die within the first four weeks (source: SANDS charity). Based in Balsall Common, The Lily Mae Foundation works to help change public perception of stillbirth and neonatal death. Donations are used to support parents and families affected by the death of a baby. Amy and her husband Ryan set up The Lily Mae Foundation in 2010, named after their daughter who was stillborn at Solihull Hospital earlier that year.
Photo caption: Amy Jackson (right) with Maureen Johnson, Chair of the Solihull Together Awards judging panel.
The Lily Mae Foundation (www.lilymaefoundation.org) offers numerous support programmes in Solihull. They work with Cruse Bereavement Centre to deliver counselling for families affected by stillbirth and neonatal death, and are currently launching a one-to-one support service. Memorial services are held locally in October to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week and at Christmas time. Monthly support meetings are held in Balsall Common and are open to all families affected by the death of a baby.
The Foundation supports eight hospitals in the West Midlands through the provision of Memory Boxes. Amy explains: “The boxes provide much-needed support for bereaved parents, allowing them to collect and store memories and precious items. This idea stemmed from our own experience but with feedback from other parents, the contents are updated regularly. Parents simply aren’t prepared to deliver a stillborn baby, and don’t have much time so the boxes can be helpful to give ideas of memories and mementos to capture. We ensure that there is a supply at each site because it’s crucial for the boxes to be available to parents immediately.”
Amy's commitment to The Foundation and its work in support of those who have suffered the devastating and traumatic loss of a baby is inspirational. At the same time as teaching full-time and caring for her three-year-old son, Amy initially drew family and friends together to help raise money for a national stillbirth charity in support of people in Solihull. In 2012 Amy registered The Foundation as a charity it its own right, and recruited 10 trustees to help grow and develop the Foundation.
In 2016 Amy was appointed by the trustees as the charity's Operations and Support Manager on a part-time basis. Now with four children to care for, Amy continues to devote all her evenings, weekends and holidays to the charity in response to its continued growth, development and success.
The Solihull Together Awards judging panel present the Chairman’s Award to a nominee who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable adults in Solihull.
Amy said: “It was really nice just to be nominated – I was delighted at the opportunity to raise the profile of The Lily Mae Foundation especially with GPs and other healthcare providers. I never expected to win as there were lots of other deserving nominees but it was lovely to get recognition for the work we do. Lots of people in the room didn’t know about The Foundation and our main aim is to raise awareness of stillbirth and neonatal death so this has been fantastic publicity for the cause.”