A family have shown their appreciation for the hard work and care provided by specialist maternity staff at Basingstoke and North Hospital by raising more than £2,800 for the Forget Me Not Fund.
Allena Tomkins, who lost her son Finlay 14 years ago, decided she wanted to raise money for the foundation, which helps families who experience the loss of a baby, after hearing that one of her children’s teachers had been in a similar situation.
Along with her mum, Dawn Tomkins, and other family members Sharna Waghorne, Nina Hamilton-Jones and Leonna Salmon, Allena decided to host an online raffle on Facebook. Local shops kindly donated a large number of prizes, meaning the family were able to put together 10 hampers for the raffle.
They raised an amazing £2,820, which will be used to provide Forget Me Not Fund pregnancy wallets containing information to help expectant mums at Basingstoke hospital spot signs that something may be wrong.
Allena said: “If this money helps new mums to learn when something might be wrong, it could save lives and that would be fantastic.
“When I had my daughter just after we lost Finlay, there was no talk about child loss. When I had my son, who is one, the subject was discussed regularly throughout my pregnancy. It’s nice to see how much difference 12 years has made.”
Raffle ticket sales totalled £940, which Nina and Leonna’s employers, Santander and HSBC, kindly agreed to match, taking the total raised close to £3,000.
“We thought we might raise about £500, so we were all shocked to sell so many tickets and raise as much as we did,” Allena added.
Laura Mackie, lead bereavement midwife at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke hospital, as well as Andover War Memorial Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said: “We are hugely grateful, not just for the money, but also for the awareness this donation will help us provide for expecting parents.
“The wallets really help women to understand when something might be wrong and feel more comfortable to go to hospital and have their pregnancy checked.”