We spoke to founder of charity Little Things LeighAnne Hedges. She lost a child before it was viable and felt her baby was not treated with dignity – dressed and given a goodbye, so she founded the charity Little Things to ensure babies no matter how small can be clothed. We think she is an inspirational mum and she tells us a little bit about her charity and why it means so much to so many.
What is the name of your charity/cause you are supporting? Little Things
Why do you feel passionately about this cause? I feel passionately about this because I have experienced first hand what it is like to be unable to dress your child who has died.
Has this affected our family personally? Can you tell us how? My own child was discarded purely as waste and was not considered a child. This can have massive implications for the grieving process and the rebuilding of your life when your baby is not acknowledged as a human being with a soul. I wanted to ensure other families did not feel like this purely because their child did not reach the milestone of 24 weeks to be considered ‘viable’.
Did you start the charity yourself? I did yes, in March 2013.
How did you do this? I started very small and did some research to see if there was anything else like the service we provide. There were similar ideas but nothing that would provide modern and up to date items for families.
Did you have support? On a personal level my daughter and parents as well as my extended family and friends were very supportive because they knew how much it meant to me. However my colleagues and boss were also on hand to provide help and advice.
Is there any advice you can give to someone thinking of starting a charity or fundraising? Start small but think big. I never imagined just how far we could reach but if you want something enough and you believe in yourself you can achieve extraordinary feats. Pay attention to detail because as our charity says it is the little things that matter the most.
How do you cope with losing a little one? Life is never the same again. You face an altered reality. However I do believe everything happens for a reason. Every child matters and in some way, whether big or small will have an impact on the world. If I had not lost my own child I would not be doing what I am now and helping other families in the same situation.
Did you go to any charities or anyone for advice or help? Because of the industry I work in my colleagues were on hand to help with advice and contacts and my boss has been in the trade for approximately 30 years so he was a good source of information.
Telling others what has happened must be so painful – how do you cope with this? My own personal story can be quite shocking to some people so sometimes I skirt around the full facts and tell them the basics, that my child died. Sometimes you don’t need to go into the finer details.
For more information visit www.ltandco.org