Friends of Serenity is an official partner charity of ELHT&Me that aims to preserve and protect the health of sick and pregnant women and those who suffer miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death; supporting East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust's Lancashire Womens and Newborn Centre.
The charity has launched an appeal, The Tree of Life, aiming to raise £50,000 to assist with the development of an outdoor courtyard. The funds will deliver a blossom tree sculpture, providing those affected by baby loss a calm, peaceful place to reflect and remember.
To support the appeal, you can take part in the 'Tree of Life pose challenge' where you will post a photo of yourself in the yoga tree pose, donate to the appeal and nominate five others to join in with you. Please click here to get involved.
Charity founder, Joanne Edwards, in the tree of life pose.
Over the last decade, Friends of Serenity have hosted a range of fundraising events and activities, raising a substantial amount.
Following the loss of thier son, Luke, Joanne and Mark's first mission was to provide a second facility for families experiencing a loss to be able to spend essential precious time with their baby in a quiet and calm environment.
The Butterfly Suite was achieved in 2015 and is a much-valued space for other families on a similar journey to Luke's parents.
The charity continued to provide enhancements to the Lancashire Womens and Newborn Centre throughout the years with projects including a heart rate monitors for the labour ward, distributing rainbow boxes for families who birthed following a loss, Mama Academy wallets to highlight key signs and guidelines to new families that will ensure even more babies arrive safely, cold blanket for the children’s unit, quiet room for the gynaecology ward and the list goes on.
Joanne Edwards said: "After losing Luke we found channelling our grief into to supporting bereavement care as therapy, this became Luke’s legacy. We were determined to create a bereavement suite, something we unfortunately didn’t have access to. Our ambitions spiralled to establishing and registering Friends of Serenity as a charity with the help from friends, family and trustee’s, especially Lil who has been a trustee from the very beginning. The charity has exceeded all our expectations and we are incredibly proud of all our achievements over the decade. The help, support and fundraising from the public and service users has been nothing short of inspirational and we cannot thank everyone enough."
Denise Gee, Head of Charity at ELHT&Me, said: “It’s such a privilege for our team to work with this amazing charity. The support has and continues to make a huge difference to the lives of families and individuals who are emotionally distressed and in need of meaningful support, helping to support bereaved families; leaving a legacy to create a positive impact.”