1212. Kirsty McGurrell
Kirsty McGurrell, from Washington, is the founder of ‘4Louis’, a charity providing support to families through miscarriage, stillbirth and child loss, and working to improve the care that bereaved parents receive from healthcare and other professionals.
After her first child, Louis, sadly died twelve days before his due date in 2009, Kirsty set up ‘4Louis’ to help other bereaved parents. The charity produces memory boxes to help grieving parents build valuable memories of their children and come to terms with their loss. The boxes provide keepsakes, cards, candles for lighting at anniversaries, and other tools to help families create their own special memories. Under Kirsty’s leadership, the charity has grown to supply 1700 memory boxes a month to 650 units across the country. They also fundraise to fund bereavement and family rooms in hospitals, a private space for bereaved families to spend time with their baby or child as they prepare to say goodbye.
Kirsty was presented with her award by her local MP, Sharon Hodgson, a supporter of the charity.
In a personal letter to Kirsty, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The loss of a child is a tragedy that no parent should endure and you have shown such bravery since losing Louis. Through ‘4Louis’ you are helping other families come to terms with their tragic loss and with your memory boxes you are helping them to create precious memories.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said:
“I am proud to present Kirsty with this award today, on behalf of the Prime Minister, to recognise all the important work Kirsty and 4Louis do to support families through miscarriage, stillbirth and child loss, including The Louis Suite bereavement room at Sunderland Royal.
“Kirsty’s selfless commitment to improving bereavement support and care for parents and families means that she is more than deserving of this recognition.
“I congratulate Kirsty, and all at 4Louis, for their vital work.”
“I am delighted and honoured to be awarded the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister. This is received on behalf of all the volunteers and families who have worked hard to support 4Louis as we could not continue our work with our them’.
“Since December 2009, when Louis was Stillborn, our lives were turned upside down and we embarked on a journey to improve the bereavement care and support provided in hospitals across the UK to families. We have now provided in excess of 106,000 memory boxes to families across the UK all free of charge.”