Community Corner - Our regular spotlight on a grassroots VCS organisation in the perinatal mental health sector
What is the name of your organisation and when did you set up?
The Lily Mae Foundation was set up in 2010 Following the stillbirth of our daughter Lily-Mae.
What prompted you to set up in the first place?
We decided to set up the charity after experiencing first-hand the devastating journey that we found ourselves on after losing a baby and realising how little support was available locally.
Where are you based?
We are based in Balsall Common, Solihull. We support families across the West Midlands.
What services do you offer and who do you support?
We support parents, siblings, the wider family and friends who’ve lost a baby to stillbirth, neonatal death, miscarriage or a termination for medical reasons. We provide memory boxes to hospitals within the West Midlands to be given out as soon as a baby dies. We also offer one-to-one bereavement support and several different support groups.
What do you find most rewarding about running your service?
The most rewarding thing about running our service is being able to support parents as they move through their grief journey and to be able to ease feelings of isolation and devastation.
How might it be helpful to you and your organisation to come together as a wider VCS perinatal mental health community & work more closely?
It would be very helpful for us to come together within the wider perinatal mental health community to be able to share good practice and to be able to support more people.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when starting-up, what would it be?
Take every day as it comes and have the belief to follow through in your ideas
If money and resources were no issue and you could wave a magic wand and change any part of your service - what would you change and why?
If I could wave a magic wand, I would increase the number of staff that we have working for us so that we could decrease waiting times and increase the number of people that we can support.
If you could give all parents a super-power what would that be and why?
I will give them the super-power to increase time because you never have enough time for everything as a parent!
Anything you’d like to tell us about your service or organisation? Any recent wins or things to celebrate?
We have one of the most important weeks of our calendar approaching, the 9th to the 15th of October is baby loss awareness week, this gives us the chance to raise the profile of our charity and also raise much-needed awareness of baby loss.