2129. Ross Coniam
Ross Coniam, from Watford, founded child bereavement campaign ‘#Nine4Norah’ in memory of his daughter Norah, who passed away only 9 hours after her birth in 2018.
Ross and his wife were supported by a number of charities in the weeks and months after Norah’s death, and wanting to give something back, Ross began the initiative as a fundraising challenge. In 2019, he completed nine endurance challenges, including the London Marathon, the Isle of Wight 106km ultra challenge and the London to Brighton Bike Ride, to raise over £87,000 for stillbirth and neonatal death charities, and continues to support and raise money for these charities.
Ross also wanted his appeal to raise awareness of the importance of talking about grief, and has since further launched a Dads and Lads support network to open up conversations around bereavement and mental health.
In a personal letter to Ross, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Through your #Nine4Norah campaign, your endurance challenges have raised tens of thousands of pounds, giving back to charities like those that supported you through your own loss.
“You have also made such a difference for other Dads who are coping with the grief of losing a baby. From your own experience, you realised that more support was needed for men who had lost a child. So you created your Dads and Lads support network, to give bereaved Dads and men suffering with mental health issues a safe space to talk.”
Congratulating Ross on his award, Dean Russell, Ross’ local MP for Watford, said:
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Ross Coniam who has been nominated for a prestigious Points of Light Award.
“Ross, from Watford, launched a child bereavement campaign entitled ‘#Nine4Norah’ in memory of his daughter Norah who tragically lost her life after just 9 hours in 2018.
“Due to Ross’ hard work and determination, more than £87,000 has been raised for a number of stillbirth and neonatal death charities. He has also launched a ‘Dads and Lads’ support network which encourages males to have conversations about bereavement and mental health which is so important. Having the conversations and offering support really does help to save lives.
“I would like to also wish Ross and his team of supporters the very best of luck in the Great North Run on September 10th with all monies raised being donated to Charity 4Louis, which supports anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child.
“I am looking forward to presenting Ross with his ‘Points of Light’ Award later this year.”
“I am thrilled to be receiving this award. ‘#Nine4Norah’ was set up to support families that have suffered the tragedy of baby loss and we will continue to do so for a long time yet.
“Although, we never set out for awards, it is always nice to be recognised which in turn can help us grow the fundraising and support.”
See more about ‘#Nine4Norah’