As millions mark the importance of mental health across the globe, Richard House Children’s Hospice sheds light on key services, marking the importance of well-being during Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Richard House mum, Precious Rodbourne sadly lost her son Raphael in  2018 to trisomy 9, a rare chromosomal abnormality. Ten minutes after  Raphael was born, he stopped breathing. The whole family moved in to  Richard House and were cared for by the dedicated care team. Precious,  husband James and their three children used the Rainbow Suite for baby  Raphael, a state-of-the-art facility at Richard House providing them with  the time and space to say goodbye during one of the most challenging  times in their lives. Precious said:

“For us, Richard House is Raphael’s home and we continue to feel that way because we never got to take him home. It was a gift. For that week, we received so much care and understanding. We created a memory box with Raphael’s hand and footprints, a lock of his hair and photographs. If you woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to spend time with him, you could. He looked like a baby who was sleeping.”

With the hospice facing a shortfall of £500,000 due to the effects of the pandemic, the possibility of suspending key services may become a reality, at a time in which the high demand for services has seen families added to waiting lists. This Baby Loss Awareness Week, the hospice is campaigning to raise enough for another family to use the Rainbow suite.  Kathryn Elvin, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Richard House said:

“Our goal is to support families with their wellbeing at every stage of their journey, and give them space to feel supported and included. It is very important to us to spread awareness of and support for those families who lose their baby in pregnancy or soon after being born, helping them still find positive memories to cherish into the future and peer support to help them cope at this most difficult time of their lives.”

Richard House relies heavily on the generosity of donors to carry out their vital work for seriously ill children and their families. Today, Raphael’s name is engraved on a pebble in the hospice Memory Fountain. Through accessing services at Richard House, many families have been able to receive much needed respite, improve their well-being, whilst supporting each other as a community. Make a difference, spend one minute this week giving £1 to ensure another family like Raphael’s gets the gift of time to say goodbye