Memory of Amelia lives on for couple

Niki and Neil Duerden (centre) with Consultant Midwife Nicola Parry, Matron Janet Danson-Smith, Niki and Neil Duerden, Midwifery Sister Pauline Canning, Bereavement Support Officer Megan Murray and Fundraising Manager Kathy Ancell.

Niki and Neil Duerden (centre) with Consultant Midwife Nicola Parry, Matron Janet Danson-Smith, Niki and Neil Duerden, Midwifery Sister Pauline Canning, Bereavement Support Officer Megan Murray and Fundraising Manager Kathy Ancell.

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A FYLDE couple, whose daughter was stillborn, are holding a special event to raise money to help bereaved parents.

Niki and Neil Duerden’s baby, Amelia Isabella Grace, was born at 39 weeks after a normal pregnancy.

Since their tragedy the St Annes couple have been striving to help others going through similar tragedy. 

Niki and Neil are holding a special event, Amelia’s Charity Night, for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund to buy specialist equipment for the maternity unit.

Mrs Duerden said: “We are holding the night to raise money for a cold cot which parents use when their baby has passed away at birth. The cot cools the body down and means that parents can spend more time with their baby.

“We recognised our time with Amelia would be very short and we wanted to spend every precious minute with her. A cold cot means parents can spend as much time as necessary with their baby after their death.

“They cost £1,350 ,which we are going to raise at the charity night and the rest of the money we raise above that will be donated to the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, to help parents, as Sands has been a huge support to our family.

The couple visited staff at the hospital to present them with memory boxes which they have made for parents who find themselves in a similar position.

Mrs Duerden added: “We’ve put together memory boxes because at the time you don’t really think about things you might want to keep. Losing a baby is just so shocking and devastating, you don’t think about trying to keep as many memories as you can. Hopefully they will help other families in a tiny way and let them know they are not alone and where to get support.

“They contain things such as a knitted blanket, camera, teddies, lots of Sands leaflets and information, a candle, a poem and picture frames.

“It’s given us something positive to focus on and has been a way of channelling our grief and keeping Amelia’s memory alive; we hope it might help other parents.

We’ve had lots of generous donations from local shops and businesses for the charity event and people have been really supportive.”

Poetry for the boxes has been written by bereaved parent Debbie Reynolds and blankets and hats have also been donated to the maternity unit by Sands member Sarah Sanderson and her mum Monica.

Niki and Neil are also climbing Snowden to raise money to help bereaved parents.

Consultant Midwife Nicola Parry said: “We really appreciate what Niki and Neil are doing. The memory boxes are a great idea for bereaved parents which we hope will bring comfort.”

Amelia’s Charity Night will take place on July 7 at Lytham Green Drive Golf Club from 7pm until midnight. The evening will include entertainment, a raffle, a hot buffet, disco and singer Rachel Stachan.

Tickets cost £10 and are available from (01253) 728074, email nicolairvine4@hotmail.com or Lounge 3 Beauty Salon in Lytham.