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Birmingham funeral directors look to help grieving parents as baby loss charity ambassadors

Two Birmingham funeral directors are calling on their own personal and professional experiences to give their support to bereaved parents in their hour of need.

Central England Co-op Funeralcare Funeral Director Jordan Chance-McNally and Senior Funeral Director Kiran Bhogal (pictured inset) have become ambassadors for the charity CRADLE, which provides support to parents during, and following, any early pregnancy loss.

The pair will be working to support parents at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and soon Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust by creating comfort bags for women, and their partners filled with a mixture of practical necessities, like toothbrushes, toiletries, sanitary products, as well as special keepsakes, to help them after being admitted on to a ward.

They will also support with fundraising for the bags and help to signpost parents to support groups, counselling services and other resources to help them through their loss.

It was Jordan, who like Kiran is based at Central England Co-op Funeralcare’s Great Brook Street Funeral Home in Nechells, who initiated the link up with CRADLE after hearing the service may be ending at Heartlands and having her own personal reasons for wanting to get involved.

She said: “I lost a baby five years ago early in the pregnancy and me and my husband both work for Central England Co-op Funeralcare so have worked with families who have lost babies under 24 weeks and from my experience and talking with them, I felt that there was a gap in what was offered so when I looked into it and found out about CRADLE I wanted to help.

“CRADLE were only working with Heartlands in the Birmingham area and their ambassador was taking a break due to personal reasons which would mean there would have been no service which I did not want to see happen.

“So, I spoke with Kiran, who lost a baby at 13 weeks and has 27 years of experience working in funeral services, as well as great passion for supporting parents in this situation, and we put ourselves forward to be ambassadors for the charity at Heartlands.

“We spoke with our Area Manager Simon Snell and he was really supportive and also offered to cover the set-up costs for us to set up the service with Sandwell Hospital and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust as well.”

The pair are already busy putting together comfort bags which will be delivered to the bereavement midwives at Heartlands Hospital and have had great support with dozens of items donated already.

Jordan said: “I just wish this support was there for me five years ago, as when you are taken off guard and have so much to take in you are not thinking about what you may need in hospital and your partner does not want to leave you alone so these bags are a real lifeline, as is being signposted to what support is out there.”

Kay Crewdson, CRADLE trustee, said: “To be able to continue our full CRADLE services at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and soon Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, and to fully support the Healthcare Professionals there is fantastic news.

“Ambassadors, such as Jordan and Kiran, enable us to provide much needed care for women and families in the area. Their work, on a voluntary basis, is paramount to the continuation of all of our projects from the comfort bags to our outpatient’s service and the ongoing support women receive once they are home, which is invaluable.

“We are honoured and grateful to welcome Jordan and Kiran as part of the CRADLE family.”

To support Jordan and Cradle with donations for the comfort bags people can view an Amazon Wishlist of items needed for the bags at https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/1VD1WSRQUSZJZ?ref_=wl_share or they can contact the charity direct for more information at info@cradlecharity.org

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