In September 2012, we launched Aidan’s Elephants in memory of our son, Aidan Christopher.
For the past four and a half years, we have worked to support Airedale General Hospital in their aim to provide an outstanding level of care for bereaved parents and their families.
♥ Our main service is donating our handmade Memory Boxes across four departments at Airedale: The Labour Ward, Neonatal Unit, Children’s Ward and A&E Department. Our boxes, along with the dedicated staff at Airedale, gently guide parents through the process of creating tangible keepsakes and invaluable memories with their child.
♥ We also provide financial support for staff to attend bereavement training, offer funding for specialist equipment (such as cuddle cots, digital cameras, printers) and help to ensure that the Sunbeam Suite (a specially designed room where bereaved parents can stay with their babies for as long as they wish) is as comfortable and well equipped as possible.
♥ Our interactive website provides practical information relating to the death of a baby or young child, such as how to register a birth and death, how to plan a funeral, and where to look for support. It also offers links to relevant charities/organisations, and to local services such as funeral directors, florists and counseling services.
♥ We run social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, which provide families with community support and allow us to receive valuable feedback. We also provide support via email for parents/families/friends who are looking for guidance, or simply for someone who will listen to their story.
♥ We regularly review new bereavement services/products and aim to support Airedale Hospital with the integration of these. Recently, the remembrance photography service for bereaved parents, Remember My Baby, was made available to grieving families at Airedale. There are also plans being made for a Baby Memorial Garden in Airedale Hospital’s Grounds and we will be providing financial and practical support for aspects of this wonderful addition to Airedale’s bereavement services.
♥ On a personal level, we have funded specialist items for other areas of Airedale Hospital, to provide comfort for the parents of children with a life threatening or life limiting conditions. We recently funded a donation of specialist clothing which is designed to accommodate the wires and medical equipment that often prevents parents from being able to dress their child when they are very ill, in Neonatal Care or Special Care.
Aidan’s Elephants began with our own funds, and with those donated to us by our family and friends. Since our launch in 2012, Aidan’s Elephants has been generously supported by so many families and local businesses. There are no words to express how grateful we are to the families who support us by fundraising in honour of their children. We could not continue to provide the service we do, without you behind us. Thank you for giving other families the chance to create memories and keepsakes which they will treasure for the rest of their lives. You, more than anyone, know how incredibly precious a gift that is.