Hailsham mother raising money for ‘cuddle cot’ in memory of stillborn child

Aaron and Laura Ripley with children Vinnie, Evie, Elsa, Ellie and Eryn at the grave at the cemetery in Hailsham of their son Henry (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Aaron and Laura Ripley with children Vinnie, Evie, Elsa, Ellie and Eryn at the grave at the cemetery in Hailsham of their son Henry (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An ‘incredibly selfless’ Hailsham mother is raising money for a cold cot in memory of her stillborn son.

Laura Ripley and her husband Aaron are hosting a football tournament for the special equipment which gives grieving families more time with their baby.

The parents lost their son, Henry George, three years ago but were only allowed a few hours to say goodbye him.

Laura said, “We want to provide parents with extra time when their child has passed away.

“To have that option taken away from you is really hard. With a cold cot, if parents want longer they are allowed to have that.”

The tournament and fun day takes place at Langney Sports Club this Sunday (September 3) from 9am and money raised will go to purchasing a community cold cot for East Sussex Stillborn and Neonatal Death charity (Sands). It will be hireable from Hailsham Funeral Service.

Laura said, “We always wanted to do something in memory of Henry. When we knew Sands were struggling it was a given we would fundraise for them.”

From 9.30am until 1pm there will be a children’s tournament, and from 1.30pm the adults will be playing. Then, at around 5.30pm there will be a presentation and raffle. Throughout the day there will be plenty of entertainment such as a bouncy castle and face painting, as well as food stalls and an ice cream and burger van.

Dawne Braine, of Sands, said, “We are delighted to be supporting Laura with her football tournament.

“I was first put in touch with her by the bereavement midwives at the Conquest hospital after Laura contacted them about raising money for a cold cot. Knowing they had enough already on the maternity ward and that my future plan was to try and get one installed in a funeral home, they suggested this to Laura who was more than happy to do this and enlisted the help of Hailsham funeral services.

“Hastings and East Sussex Sands has donated several trophies and appealed for local people and companies to sponsor the rest.

“We will be there on the day to help raise these vital funds and support Laura.

“Anybody who is willing to fundraise to help other bereaved parents after suffering a loss themselves are incredibly selfless, giving people and Laura definitely falls into this category.

“I’m sure the day will be a huge success and, should there be any shortfall in the amount raised to the amount needed, we will make up the difference to enable the cold cot to be placed at the funeral home – allowing parents more precious time with their babies before they say goodbye.”

Also known as a cuddle cot, cold cots cool the baby and therefore prolong the amount of time parents can spend with their stillborn.

For more information about the fundraising tournament, visit the website www.eventbrite.com/e/football-tournament-in-memory-of-henry-george-ripley-tickets-34499604245

And for more information about Sands, visit Hastings and East Sussex SANDS on Facebook.