Sometimes there are no words, no words to explain how you feel inside, how much you hurt. Sometimes all we have is that last kiss that says everything.
A word from Annika:
“In 2014 I started a new business and in doing so created a vision board of the goals I wanted to achieve and my aspirations for the future. I wanted to create a charity that supported bereaved families during their stay in hospital after experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature death of their baby. Through personal experience I understand the importance of having a sympathetic environment in which to begin the grieving process; by providing bespoke equipment to enhance the bereavement facilities in maternity units this enables midwives to give more personalised support. Also providing the most valuable gift that can be given when you experience the pain and heartbreak of loss – time, time to say goodbye when you are ready.”
Meet the Trustees
Hello! I am the Chair of The Last Kiss Foundation and I am so excited to be able to establish this charity and fulfil a dream I had to help parents and families through the most difficult experiences of bereavement and loss. I am committed and passionate about making a difference to people’s lives, especially when at their most vulnerable coping with the death of a loved one and will soon be undertaking a study into soul midwifery.
I have two children, Sophie and Madelyn as well as 8 children in spirit. I also run my own networking business which is where I met Sharon and Keely and without their love and support The Last Kiss Foundation would still be an ambition on paper and not the reality it is today!
I am the Fund Director for The Last Kiss Foundation, I have a BA (Hons) Business and Administration and my background is consultancy and Licensee within the hospitality sector. I love to organise and plan events and parties, so the idea that I could bring my fun loving ideas to The Last Kiss Foundation and truly make a difference in parents and families lives is an honour. I am a mummy to one: Liliana, she is a little crazy, loving and heart of gold, she brings love and laughter on cloudy days and every other day for that matter.
In 2014, I suffered two miscarriages, the first miscarriage happened and I wasn’t even aware that I was pregnant. My second miscarriage was May 2014, I was 11 weeks and although wasn’t planned, my baby was very much wanted. My coping mechanism throughout life has always been to dig deep with work or projects and just keep busy. So when Annika told her story and her dream of starting a charity to supply hospitals with the cuddle cot equipment and to support families it just felt right. Although my pregnancies miscarried in the first trimester, you still know you are growing a little human and I can’t begin to comprehend what some parents go through, so if I can make a small difference then I am honoured. Treasure your time and treasure your last kiss x
When Annika first shared her story, I was both shocked and moved. I was a single mum bringing my son up on my own, I can’t really imagine what it would be like to lose a baby, but it made me remember the time that a close friend of mine lost her baby boy a few days after his birth.
At the time, being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I was itching to have a go at a parachute jump, there are numerous deserving charities out there, but being part of one really gave that quest some purpose. So, I got to raise money for The Last Kiss and fulfil a dream.
I look after the accounts within the charity and love seeing the pot grow so that we can buy and donate vital equipment to the bereavement suites to bring a little comfort at such a distressing time for families that go through such a sad experience.
I run a business as a VA and work part time as an account assistant. I spend a lot of time with my eldest grandson Leon who is great fun and we love having adventures together. I am also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a martial art that I have been practising for 11 years now.
Examples of how we help
We are extremely grateful to Flexmort to be able to work in partnership with them to provide hospitals and hospices across the UK with the CuddleCot and Cool Cover.
Flexmort are the manufacturer of the CuddleCot which has been internationally recognised across the world as significantly helping parents who suffer the loss of a baby. Dealing with the death of a baby is clearly an incredibly difficult event for parents and bereaved parents should be given the option of spending time with their baby. Providing families time through the use of the CuddleCot is internationally encouraged by midwives, bereavement practitioners, stillbirth/neonatal charities, and academics. Time allows the family to form an important bond with their baby; whether changing a nappy, dressing the baby, taking photographs or simply just staying close and this unquestionably helps families in dealing with their loss. The problem is that in a warm room the baby’s condition can deteriorate quickly, therefore cooling the baby is absolutely essential. Transferring to and from the morgue is now widely regarded as an outdated practice as it is traumatic for parents to repeatedly go through the separation process whereas the CuddleCot allows the family to spend every moment with their baby, precious moments where every minute counts.
The CuddleCot™ system cools the baby in situ allowing the baby to remain with the family thereby providing the family time they want. The CuddleCot™ cooling pad is placed in any moses basket, crib, pram or bed; it is connected by a specially insulated hose and is quietly cooled using the CuddleCot™ cooling unit. The CuddleCot™ system comes in its own carry case with different size cooling pads for premature and full-term babies.
Flexmort’s innovative Covercool™ is a Mini mobile cooling system, that works on the same principles and in the same way as the CuddleCot.