This week is a pretty momentous one for us here at Our Angel Bears as we celebrate a full year of being a UK registered charity on Wednesday 27th July!
Originally set up in June 2017 by co founders Suzanne and Vicky, we started out by providing small keepsake packs to our local early pregnancy units to give out to bereaved parents in order to recognise their losses. We also started running our first in person support group in Bournemouth, Dorset as a safe space for bereaved families to come together, support one another and share coping mechanisms. Over the past 5 years we have grown to have 3 support groups across the UK, with a further 2 launching very soon, have expanded our supply of keepsake packs to over 20 NHS early pregnancy units and a number of private scan clinics, and built up a worldwide community support network through our social media channels. On 27th July 2021 we registered as a UK charity which has allowed us to apply for additional funding and build our networks working with more NHS trusts across the UK. We know from the messages we received on a daily basis, as well as through our own personal experiences, how valuable this support network is to families who tragically experience child loss at any stage. Our aim is to continue to grow as a charity, offer a wider variety of in person and virtual support groups, be able to provide our early loss keepsake packs to additional hospitals across the UK, and be able to offer keepsakes to purchase in memory of your lost angels with all proceeds going back into the charity. It has been a very busy year and we are really proud of all we have achieved, and we hope that we have been able to offer you support and solidarity when you have needed it.
In other news this week, we have been super busy meeting with local health representatives in GP surgeries, mental health charities and public health officers in our local communities. Nicki has been studying for her Information and Guidance course to continue to increase her qualifications in baby bereavement and counselling, which is an invaluable skill to us her at Our Angel Bears. Suzanne ran the Poole support group this week, and is still working on setting up a Rainbow Baby support group in Dorset, and Louise has been working on setting up an infertility and IVF support group in conjunction with our local health trust, again in Dorset.
As we head into year two as a registered charity, we would really love to hear what else you would like to see from us, so please do let us know in the comments section!