A woman who has worked tirelessly to improve the care and services available to families who have lost a child has been recognised.
Child bereavement charity Tabitha’s Trust was launched by Victoria Kissack and husband Chris after their first daughter died shortly after birth.
Victoria was the winner of the charity and volunteers category of the 2015 Steam Packet Pride in Mann Awards, alongside Jenna O’Sullivan, who was behind Ben’s Butterflies Project, which transforms donated gowns into clothes for babies born too soon, too small or too sick to survive.
She has been nominated in this year’s awards by Willaston resident Mrs Rogers, who said: ‘Victoria has worked tirelessly to improve the care and services available for families who have lost a child.
‘Her hard work and dedication has created new pathways of care, awareness and support.’
Victoria was also nominated by her mum, Elaine Ferguson, who said she was very proud of what her daughter has achieved.
‘My daughter dedicates all her time to the community and the charity,’ she said.
Victoria is working with Jane Sloane, head of midwifery at Noble’s Hospital, to develop a new bereavement suite to be housed in the old Special Care Baby Unit for families who have lost a baby late in pregnancy, to still birth or shortly after birth
‘Plans are in full swing and we hope to have it finished for Christmas,’ she said.
‘This very special room will enable them to spend time with their baby, making precious memories and hopefully easing the transition from expectant parent to bereaved parent, in a dedicated environment.
‘We are fundraising to finish decorating and furnishing the suite, to make it more comfortable and cosy and a less clinical environment.’
Tabitha’s Trust completed its outreach project in January, which saw the charity donate more than 200 books to every school and every library on the island, thanks to a donation from Ballakermeen High School.
‘The books were all recommended by local families, and are there for support, information and guidance for children, young adults and those in the community who have been affected by the loss of a child,’ Victoria said.
She said that she felt ‘very humbled’ to be nominated in this year’s awards.
‘I hope my nomination will help to raise awareness for the charity, as well as gain support for our current and future projects,’ she said.
‘ As I have said before, for me, there is no glory in being nominated or winning awards because my focus now is to help other families who have lost what we have, their child.
‘And there is no glory in being a bereaved parent. Every nomination or award is of course accepted in Tabitha’s memory.’