A Haywards Heath couple, who lost their unborn child, are campaigning to raise money for a ‘wonderful’ Sussex-based charity that supports bereaved families.
Stuart Brooks shakes the hand of Gemma Kybert as the Bovis Homes sales team presents the donation at the housebuilder's Saxons Plain location in Worthing
Stuart Brooks who is an area sales manager at Bovis Homes, became aware of Oscar’s Wish Foundation after the loss of his son Jack last October, 20 weeks into his wife Samantha’s pregnancy.
Now, following support from colleagues at his employer’s South East region, Stuart and Samantha have been able to contact Gemma Kybert, founder of the charity, and hand over a donation of £500 to help their work. Gemma’s own baby, Oscar Jensen, passed away just over four years ago.
Stuart said: “We are very pleased to be involved in donating towards this wonderful charity. Gemma has been fighting for local hospitals to have specific rooms for the grieving parents and families of those who have lost a baby before, during or shortly after birth.
“They help with counselling and all these beautiful methods of support that you wouldn’t even think of, like memory boxes and providing supplies, like toothbrushes, to those who might need to stay in hospital during this absolutely devastating time.
“We didn’t know who to turn to or anyone else who had gone through a similar experience. It’s something people don’t talk about but so many have come forward since to say this happened to them too. I hope this money can help anyone who needs the same support.”
Oscar is Oscar's Wish Foundation's mascot
It wasn’t until Stuart and his wife carried out some work to support the charity that he realised Gemma actually lived in a house at Bovis Homes’ Saxons Plain location in Worthing – a home that he himself had inspected after its construction was completed in 2017.
Stuart explained: “Samantha and I were helping to send cards out to parents and going through addresses, when we realised Gemma lived on one of our locations – and it turns out I had actually inspected her house before she moved in. It was quite a coincidence.”
Gemma said the donation would have a major impact on the charity and the parents and families it supports.
“Bovis Homes’ donation means that we can offer support to parents who will be going through the devastating loss of a baby,” Gemma said. “Our support develops into a friendship essentially.
“Stuart has highlighted what a fantastic company Bovis Homes is to work for and they have been brilliant at giving him the time off he needs, which is really important.”
Oscar’s Wish Foundation will be hosting a family fun day on 27th May, at Wivelsfield Village Hall in Wivelsfield Green, which includes a family tug-of-war, face painting and a bouncy castle.
Companies who wish to donate to the charity can also sponsor a bear – the charity’s mascot, called Oscar - which gives parents and families something to hug.
For more information, visit www.oscarswishfoundation.co.uk.