916. Megan McKay
Megan McKay, from Dover, is the co-founder and Chair of Trustees of ‘Cherished Gowns’, a charity creating funeral gowns for stillborn and miscarried children out of donated wedding dresses.
Inspired to create the charity after a friend lost her baby, Megan created an entirely donation funded system where over 100 gowns can be made from a single dress. Since the charity was established in September 2014, Megan has produced over 350,000 items. The clothing is supplied to all 237 hospitals in the UK with a maternity department and are then offered free of charge to grieving parents, an operation made possible by 1,200 hardworking volunteers. Megan’s work has a substantial impact on easing the pain of some of the families affected by the 3,430 stillborn babies in the UK every year.
In a personal letter to Megan, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The clothing you provide for stillborn babies is providing comfort to grieving parents across the country. It is moving to hear how your compassion has inspired so many others to volunteer for the charity, ensuring even more families receive this support at such a devastating time in their lives.”
“When I founded ‘Cherished Gowns UK’ in September 2014 I had no real idea how large the charity would come to grow, or the huge impact that it would have not only to bereaved parents, but also on the taboo around stillbirth and babyloss. This charity relies solely on the support of volunteers to create the items we provide and this award epitomises the hard work of every single of one of them. I am so grateful to everyone who has supported my passion for this service and I am excited to see how it will continue to grow.”