CRADLE is supported by a team of Trustees across the UK. With a wide range of skills, interests and commercial experience, the team work closely together to ensure CRADLE charity objectives are met.
As the Founder and Chair of CRADLE Charity, I lead a national team of volunteers who support the delivery of our charitable objectives to bring comfort and support to anyone affected by early pregnancy loss.
I have 16 years experience of working for corporate PLCs and more recently as a self-employed consultant supporting the growth of businesses and charities via income generation and partnership development. My passion includes connecting people, growing communities, and working with healthcare professionals and employers to support their bereavement services.
When trying to conceive it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant or that once I become pregnant, that something would go wrong.
My focus whilst trying to get pregnant was simply to remember to take my prenatal tablets, think of baby names and to have pregnancy tests ready at home. I didn’t over think things and carried on with day to day life with a hugely stressful job. It was around 9pm one evening in May 2015 that I found out I was pregnant at the GP on call centre in Southport. I knew due to my physical symptoms that something was wrong and I knew not to get excited.
The same evening I was admitted to the Gynaecology Ward at Ormskirk hospital, and following the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy I received care as an outpatient. On the 20th May 2015, I became unwell at home and collapsed, I called and ambulance and four hours later had surgery to remove my left fallopian tube and my baby.
Over the next 18 months, I changed my career and joined the Ormskirk Hospital bereavement team as a volunteer, providing patient insight to healthcare professionals to support their bereavement services at Ormskirk Hospital. Using my own experience as a patient during my ectopic pregnancy, I started a small project called My Ectopic Pregnancy (@EctopicMy – Twitter) and pledged to donate 10 Bags of toiletries to Ormskirk Hospital for other women admitted for Ectopic Pregnancy. The national support for this project led to the creation of the Ambassador role, support was extended to women experiencing any type of pregnancy loss and the project became an organisation called CRADLE.
CRADLE was introduced to healthcare professionals from across the North West on the 16th July 2019 at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Baby Loss Conference. The first official CRADLE service was launched for bereaved parents in September 2019 at Ormskirk Hospital and over the following 12 months the team grew to 90 Volunteers and launched a further 40 NHS CRADLE services across the UK.
We provide a range of resources and services for healthcare professionals to support their bereavement services for women and partners before, during or following confirmed pregnancy loss.
I currently lead the spiritual care and chaplaincy service at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust. I have been involved with CRADLE since the early days, first meeting Louise on a Hospital Bereavement Focus Group which was set up to create ways of improving our patients’ experience following a pregnancy or baby loss.
CRADLE has become a significant part of how we support mums and families following a loss. Through my role I offer person centred support to people, be it spiritual, non-religious or religious depending on the context. I am also involved in planning gathered events which include individual funerals, the annual Sunflower Planning Ceremony, Wave of Light Events and Annual Baby and Child Remembrance events.
Since 1999 I have been involved in the development and delivery of the monthly Our Babies service, which is a supportive event for families following an early pregnancy loss. As well as the offering of a service it has included the development of a baby garden at two crematoriums and at Ormskirk Hospital.
The service is held each month and anyone experiencing an early pregnancy loss are invited, along with their families. Cradle is important to me as it supports the aims I have always tried to aspire to since the first time I offered support to a family following a baby loss in 1988. Over the years I have held various roles within faith communities, and University and Hospital Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services. I have always aspired to offer care appropriate to the circumstances.
By way of introductions my name is Leanna Brace and I am a specialist nurse at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital.
I have worked in Women’s Health for 16 years and feel passionate about delivering exceptional care for those suffering from early pregnancy loss. I am motivated to make what is a really distressing journey a more bearable experience, one step at a time.
The CRADLE charity is important to me because it helps bridge the gap in care, not just in different departments within the hospital, but also among multiple hospitals across the country. Therefore, bestowing unity for the care of women and people experiencing early pregnancy loss. CRADLE is a nationwide service that offers many ideas and positive changes, helping to ensure care is paramount and providing ongoing emotional support. I initially started as an ambassador by promoting CRADLE into my hospital Trust. I have used this platform to propose new projects such as better care environments, education and provided continuity of care within multiple disciplinary teams and departments. CRADLE has helped educate new nurses and supported studentswithin women’s services. This has blossomed their confidence to care for grieving families, which in turn provides positive experiences for our services users.
I believe exceptional care should be free and available to all.
Every pregnancy matters.