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Bereaved mum creates special Christmas cards for Zephyr’s centre

Helen O’Hanlon discovered Zephyr’s centre last year, following the loss of her baby boy triplets. The centre offers bereavement support in a safe and peaceful environment for families who have lost a pregnancy, baby or child.

Helen regularly attended the centre’s weekly Thursday afternoon drop in, before returning to work. Ever since then, she has wanted to do something to give back to the centre that offered her the support she so needed.

She said: “On my first visit I was welcomed with a big genuine smile and felt instantly at ease, I sat comfortably chatting about our experiences and never once felt under pressure to talk. I felt totally comfortable to sit in silence or just cry if I wanted to. It made me feel like I wasn’t on my own.”

Zephyr’s, part of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, offers support to bereaved families following the death of a baby or child at any age or gestation. With specialist bereavement counselling, creative activities, and a warm homely space for parents to meet doctors, attend appointments and events, or simply meet others who understand the heartbreak and huge impact of the loss of a child, the centre offers a vital lifeline to bereaved parents.

Helen, who is employed by Rachel Ellen Designs, nearby to the City Hospital, where Zephyr’s is based, has created a set of four beautifully made cards that feature bright colours, lovingly made graphics, and three special hearts on the back.

On making the cards Helen says: “I feel so lucky I’ve been able to help this wonderful charity and to create awareness of the support available to others just like me. Designing the cards did evoke mixed emotions, bringing back memories of our very sad experience but also bringing me joy in knowing that what I was doing was such a positive thing and helping others! It’s been a great part of my healing process.”

Carly Williams, Project Manager at Zephyr’s says “We’re humbled and touched by the gift of these beautiful cards. So thoughtfully made, they’re not only a testament of Helen’s love for her boys, but also a real tribute to how she feels about the centre, and how Zephyr’s continues to support her.

“As well as raising much needed money for our centre, which relies solely on donations, we hope too, that these lovely cards will raise awareness of our services, and more importantly, may spark conversation. For those with someone missing from their family at Christmas, the festive period can be an emotional time, these cards are a lovely opportunity for families to include all of their children, even those who have died in their seasonal wishes.”

The cards will be on sale at Zephyr’s Festive Party on Saturday 7th December, 2-6pm at City Hospital Leisure Club. Alongside craft stalls, warm soup and mince pies, games, tombola and music, the afternoon family fundraising event is the perfect time to support the centre, find out more about Zephyr’s and pick up some of these unique cards too.

Find the Leisure Club at City Hospital. From Edwards Lane, take Gate 5 entrance to the hospital on North Road. The venue is just in on the right, opposite the Purple Car Park, where FREE parking will be available for party visitors!

The cards are also on sale at the Nottingham Hospitals Charity Hub at QMC main entrance.

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