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Brightesr Star is 4

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4 years ago today I launched Brightest Star as a gift of love to Jack on Valentine’s Day hence the heart and star in our logo. I was so desperate to find support after I lost Jack that I was determined to put something in place for other families who would face this heartbreak. Since then I met/spoke to hundreds of families that have lost their son or daughter and I am blessed to know their child’s story.

One year ago today, we opened the doors o...f Hulks Haven and we have seen so many families come through our door since then. In just 12 months, we have provided 225 hours of counselling to men and women who have lost their son or daughter and 79 hours of bereavement support to children who have lost their brother or sister

Today on our 4th anniversary, we have received our delivery of the Cuddle Cot for babies and Cuddle Blanket for toddlers through to adults. These will allow parents to spend more time with their son/daughter after they have died.

None of this would have been possible without every penny that each one of you has donated over the past 4 years. We rely solely on donations so its each one of you that has helps families experiencing the heartache of losing their son or daughter. Without your donations, we would not be able to provide any of our services to families that lose their son or daughter so on all of our behalf, I thank you for your continued support t Brightest Star.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx

Anonymous Donation Cuddle Cot & Blanket

Spending time with your son or daughter is such a precious thing.
Spending time with them after they die feels even more precious.

This week we have spent time seeing how the Cuddle Cot for babies and Cuddle Blanket for toddlers, teenagers and adults work. These pieces of equipment will allow families to spend longer with their son or daughter at home or on the hospital ward

Thanks to a truly amazing anonymous donation we have been able to purchase one Cuddle Cot and one Cuddle Blanket and these will be with us within 4 weeks. From the bottom of my broken heart, I would like to thank these people for this selfless donation as it will make such a difference to families that tragically lose their son or daughter. I feel really touched that they would do this in Jacks memory, he wasn't allowed this privilege but now his memory will live on in the hearts of those who do. Our sick kids hospital does amazing things for sick children and thanks to this donation, they will be able to do so much more for children that pass away.

Thanks to your donations online, we have also been able to buy one additional cuddle cot and we are only the way to being able to buy another cuddle blanket. These will be held in Hulks Haven to allow families to the chance to take their child home or for hospitals to access the use of them.

Thanks to everyone that has donated so far, we have the most caring and kind supporters. Together, we can make a difference to those that sadly lose their son or daughter 💙🌟

If you would like to donate you still can on the link below ..

https://www.justgiving.com/…/br…/CuddleCotAndCoverCoolAppeal

cuddle

Sibling Support

Can you imagine telling your son or daughter that their brother or sister has died?
Can you imagine knowing that for the 1st time as a parent, there is nothing that you can do to protect them from pain or hurt?
Can you imagine trying to deal with the death of one of your children whilst still trying to parent other children? Trying to cope with your grief whilst, trying to help your child to cope with their grief for their sibling.
Jack was an only child so I can’t imagine ...what other parents go through. I know how much of a daily struggle it is to process my own feelings and grief without still having to be a parent.
On the night that Jack died, I can vividly remember thinking about Jacks closest friends. All I kept saying was “how will their mums and dads tell them that Jack has died?”, “how will they understand this?”, “how will this affect them in later life?”.

We have two spaces available with our children's worker at Brightest Star. If you have a child that you feel needs support and you would like more information on our service then please get in touch via private message or email.

If you are considering bringing your child to Brightest Star for one to one support, this will also give you an idea of the work we would be doing with them. I can’t thank Toni and Austin enough for sharing their experience of grief and Brightest Stars sibling support with us, this was such a brave thing to do and thanks to you, I am very sure Brightest Star will be able to support many more young people after the loss of their brother or sister.
https://youtu.be/d-rN6m7y1Z4

“I came into this hospital with my son and I am leaving with a bag

“I came into this hospital with my son and I am leaving with a bag”.

I will never forget saying those words leaving my mouth or how I felt walking out that hospital without Jack. Looking at that blue bag still haunts me, I should still have Jack at home, not that blue bag.

Hearing Kim Marsh on Coronation Street say “I went into hospital with a baby and left with a leaflet” vividly brought back so many painful memories of losing Jack. For thousands of families across the UK, ...I can imagine this storyline has brought back so many memories of losing their baby, child, son or daughter of any age.

Losing your son or daughter is something you think happens to other people, it’s something you see on the news or read in newspapers but it’s something that you never imagine will happen to you, until it does. In that moment, your life, your past, your present and your future changes forever. One day you’re a mum/dad, the next day your nothing. One day you are doing the school run, making dinner, doing the best time story, the next day your life is empty and meaningless. I describe it as someone putting a bomb under your life overnight and then spending the rest of your life trying to fight your way through the rubble.

I don’t know what it’s like to lose a baby or have a stillborn child and I won’t pretend that I do. I know that I was lucky to have my son for nearly 6 years. I was very naïve when I was pregnant with Jack, I didn’t even know that it was possible to have a stillborn baby and like many others, I took for granted that fact that I had given birth to a healthy baby. This morning I saw the cuddle cot being used during Coronation Street and it confirmed the need for these and the CoverCool and why we are raising money for them. https://www.justgiving.com/…/br…/CuddleCotAndCoverCoolAppeal

What I do know is that we need to raise awareness of babies and children dying and the support services that are in place for families that lose their son or daughter. Brightest Star supports families that lose a son or daughter of any age, from any cause of death but these services should be readily available in every hospital and maternity ward. Sadly that is not always the case and it’s the very reason why Brightest Star exists. To prevent people leaving with the blue bag that I received and nowhere to turn for support, we have designed memory boxes that are available for hospitals or individuals upon request and we offer support groups in Glasgow and Edinburgh and counselling sessions at our Linwood Hulks Haven.

As I always say, if you know someone who has lost a child, please acknowledge their child where and when you can. It doesn’t matter what age the child was or how long ago they died, they are still part of someone’s family.

Its only together that we can raise awareness of babies and children dying and the support services that are in place for families that lose their son or daughter, please help us to do so.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx

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