On Monday morning, we at SiMBA received an email, a request like no other that we had received before. One that our immediate reaction was to do something to help. We contacted our team of Trustees who very quickly gave a unanimous yes to the request for support.
Alex Mancini, Pan London Lead Nurse for Neonatal Palliative Care Chelsea & Westminster Foundation, contacted our charity to support a special initiative. Alex, was part of the Major Incident team at Chelsea & Westminster hospital who received many families searching for their loved ones after the very recent Grenfell Tower fire. As we now know, many people died along with all their possessions and memories. Their impression was that many families had their phones, therefore photos, but little else. Several of Alex’s colleagues are working alongside established organisations, and they thought Memory Boxes might be helpful for families, for which we would agree.
Alex contacted SiMBA to help with this initiative, as we already donate our Memory Boxes to Chelsea and Westminster hospital, along with many other hospitals across the UK. We were honoured to be asked and our aim was to support this very worthwhile project in any way that we could. We ‘respond to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby’, these people are all someone’s baby.
The SiMBA charity, in the first instance are donating 100 Memory Boxes, which are to be gifted to those who have very sadly lost a loved one in the fire. We are also donating a Cannon Selphy CP1200 photo Printer and boxes of photo paper, so families can print off as many photos as they choose from their mobile phones, as said, it might be the only tangible thing that they have. These photos can then be placed in their Memory Box.
By Tuesday we had a team of volunteers helping to build the Memory Boxes, with specially chosen, appropriate contents, especially for this purpose.
We contacted the team at John Lewis, Edinburgh branch and told them what we were doing, and the staff very kindly donated a photo frame for each Memory Box, so a picture could be printed and framed.
UNISON Lothian Health Branch also helped by donating 100 note pads. We all agreed were a nice addition, so people could be encouraged, when they are ready, to write down memories to be kept in their special box.
Then we had to arrange for the Memory Boxes to be transported to London so the team could receive them. Courier company, dpd local were more than happy to support our request and are transporting the Memory Boxes free of charge.
So, by this this evening, with the amazing support of so many, and we thank you for everyone’s quick response; we had made up 100 Memory Boxes, which will be on their way to London tomorrow, each to be gifted by the team, to a family member, in a co-ordinated and sensitive way.
It was an extraordinary request, and these are unimaginable circumstances, which I am sure most wanted to do something to help, I am just grateful that we could. ‘Responding to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby', someone's baby