James Paget University Hospital mortuary staff raising money for SANDS

James Paget University Hospital mortuary staff taking part in charity skydive

James Paget University Hospital mortuary staff taking part in charity skydive - Credit: Archant

Hospital staff who help grieving parents following stillbirth or the sudden death of a baby have vowed to raise money for families experiencing loss.

Staff from James Paget University Hospital (JPH) mortuary will brave a skydive for SANDS, the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society, on October 19.

Katie Green, 29, of Bradwell, Mica Benson, 43, of Great Yarmouth, Natalie White, 45, of Lowestoft, Katie Aldred, 23, of Bradwell, along with friend Kelly Smith, 28, of Yarmouth, want to raise money for SANDS after seeing first hand the difference it has made to hundreds of people locally.

'As a mortuary team, we provide support to those who have experienced loss during pregnancy and birth,' said Ms Green, 29, of Royal Sovereign Crescent, Bradwell.

'We make memory boxes for parents which contain hand and footprints, photographs and anything else we feel the parents would like to keep as a reminder of their precious baby.

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'Everyday in the UK, 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth. Fundraising for this cause enables SANDS to offer support to families but also to healthcare professionals and to improve the research into neonatal deaths.

'We pride ourselves here in the services we provide and this is shown by the vast amount of thank you cards and letters we receive from those families we have helped.'

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As a result of their work with families, the mortuary staff have been shortlisted as Team Of The Year in the Gorleston hospital's Remarkable People Awards being held later this month October.

Apart from Katie Aldred, none of the other girls have attempted a skydive and excitement is building ahead of the event at Ellough airport near Beccles.

'We are all feeling very nervous but extremely excited at the same time,' said Ms Green.

'It may help that we are doing a tandem skydive so we have no option but to jump out of the plane as that decision is not in our hands! A lot of our friends, families and colleagues are coming to watch and support us on the day so we are hoping to raise a good amount of money and have fun at the same time.'

Although it's their first group fundraiser, the women aren't strangers to raising cash for a good cause; Ms Aldred's skydive was in aid of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, while Ms Benson has taken part in Race For Life and a North Sea Boxing Day swim for charity, and Ms Smith has completed a charity bike ride for Headway and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

To sponsor the mortuary staff, visit www.justgiving.com/JPUHskydive or donate in person at the Bereavement Suite at the JPH.

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