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Snowdrop Appeal for bereavement services

365. Greg Phillips
366. Jen Phillips

Two care workers who raised over £115,000 for a specialist bereavement unit after tragically losing a child to stillbirth.

Greg and Jen Phillips, 48 and 50, have been working tirelessly over the last six years to raise enough money to open a bereavement ward at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

In 2009, Jen and Philip suffered a horrific loss when their daughter Jasmine was born stillbirth at 32 weeks. They founded the Snowdrop Appeal named by Greg’s mum in memory of Jasmine, to raise money for a specialist ward to help other grieving parents in similar positions. Their cause started after they found there was no suitable space in the hospital for them to process their loss and struggled with being surrounded by newly born children.

Thanks to the Snowdrop Appeal, two rooms were officially opened at Derriford Hospital’s delivery suite in April this year for any bereaved parents of stillbirth, miscarriage and early baby loss. The new unit is situated away from the busy maternity area to help ease the trauma and loss parents will experience in such tragic times. Greg and Jen have worked closely with the hospital to ensure the ward meets the needs of parents and helps relieve the stress of baby loss. This includes providing small kitchen facilities so that neither parent has to leave for food and a creche area for any other children the parents may have.

From their initial target of £1000, Greg and Jen have succeeded in raising over £115,000 and have set a new target of £300,000. They have inspired many others to donate and carry out fundraisers such as attempting to break a skydiving world record.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Greg and Jen are an inspirational couple, who have shown incredible strength in working to make sure other parents are supported when suffering the devastating loss of a child. Their tireless work to fundraise for Derriford Hospital has created a place where parents can receive the support they so desperately need. They are both thoroughly deserving of this Points of Light award.”

Greg & Jen said:

“We were really shocked to hear that we had won such a prestigious award and prior to contact from the Cabinet Office we had no idea we had even been nominated for it. We are both extremely proud of this award and also for all the hard work our small team have done with the help from so many other people who have helped us achieve this goal. We aim to continue the fundraising to complete a larger bereavement unit built with the ward area. Since opening the two rooms this year we have also helped to get a Dedicated Specialist Bereavement Midwife in post at the hospital which is fantastic”

Oliver Colvile, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said:

“Greg and Jen’s success in creating a facility that will make a real difference to local families is a fantastic achievement. Their hard work and determination over the last six years has been an inspiration to many, reflected in the kind donations made by the public. I hope that the new ward will offer some relief to parents experiencing this grief.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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