Charity works with local artist and writer for bereavement book

My WiSH Charity has teamed up with local artist Kim Whittingham to produce a book which will be added to a memory box given to bereaved parents at the West Suffolk Hospital.

The book has been written by Helen Davies who is the associate director of communications at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for the charity, came up with the idea when looking for a book to add to the box.

The cover of the book “When I see A Sparkle”

She said: “I just couldn’t find a book that had the right sentiment or was the right size for our boxes and then I realised Helen had written a children’s book before and so I approached her with the idea.”

Helen added: “I loved the idea and had always wanted to work with Kim as her illustrations are just so lovely.”

The three of them met up and the project soon began with Helen writing a poem called “When I See A Sparkle”.

Sally said: “Kim’s artwork was perfect for the poem. She immediately had so many ideas and the finished pieces are just beautiful.”

Kim not only produced 12 images to go with the poem but worked with Gipping Press, in Needham Market, to ensure the book really “sparkled”.

Kim said: “Gipping Press were just brilliant. We tried several different methods to ensure we really caught a sparkle on the cover. I am so pleased with the end result.

“Illustrating the book was definitely one of the most challenging projects I’ve worked on. I normally love to add in fun extras when I illustrate children’s books, but this book is a very different topic. I wanted to make sure the artwork complimented Helen’s poem and was fun to engage with children without being trivial.”

The book will be added to other items such as a special keyring, ink or clay print kits, a memory card for photos, a birth certificate and a blanket and two little rabbits which are made by the community.

Justine Ladd, who is the bereavement midwife, said: “The memory boxes are so lovely and having these special touches which have been made locally really makes a difference”.

The money for the project came from Cavenham couple, Molly and Jack Deal who sadly lost their daughter, Kendall at just 16 weeks and six days.

The couple, who have gone on to have a healthy baby boy, Ovie, wanted to thank the bereavement team who were so amazing at such a difficult time and managed to raise over £7,000 by cycling the equivalent of 300 miles on a static bike.

They received one of the first copies of the book and Molly said: “We absolutely love it. It very much made us think of Kendall. I am sure it will help lots of people. It really is special.”

Molly, Jack and Ovie Deal

Sally added: “We are a local charity and we also aim to support local. Having the community knit items to enhance the box is brilliant and this book just adds the finishing touch. The aim is to help you see your loved one in every aspect of life and Kim and Helen have got it spot on. We hope it can give comfort to anyone suffering a loss”.

You can also buy “When I See A Sparkle” via Kim and Helen’s online shop