A talk with Leighanne Wright: Little Things & Co
Thank you for working with us to create a unique blog about you, and the development of your charity. We hope this will help to raise awareness of all that has been achieved so far and help to develop the further the aims of the charity.
1. To start us off, please can you let us know a little about how the charity was founded and your motivation?
Little Things and Co. was founded in 2013 after a profound encounter during my day job as a Funeral Director. I had a family of a very early gestation baby who came in to arrange his funeral and they were upset there would be no clothing to fit him. I created a small outfit for him myself by sewing together some spare material I had, and their response was wonderful. I realised very quickly that parents who are bereaved want their children to have what every other child has. This family just wanted to be able to dress their son which is a basic human need. After this first time the scenario happened two more times and I quickly realised there was a need for such a service. This is how Little Things and Co was born and it has evolved to now become a selection of emotional and practical bereavement support services.
2. What is your role within the charity, how long have you been doing it, and what does an average day look like for you?
My role is officially CEO, but this is just a term we use for the purpose of reporting to the charity commission. Basically I deal with all of the admin, the requests from family and running the support group.
Day to day my time is spent answering emails, packaging items and looking after our social media. I still work full time as a Funeral Director so some days are long and tiring, but always worth it.
3. What are the main aims of the charity?
The main aims are to help people bereaved by the loss of a child. Whether that is practically with our clothing, items for funerals or chapel packs or emotionally through our literature, support groups or Little Haven our memorial garden.
4. Is there a particular project or aim that you’d like to share with people or a focus over the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months our aim is to keep doing what we are doing but do it better and get to more people who may need us. We do have a new fundraising drive starting in July but we can’t share those details just yet! However we are very excited. Its a big project and looks to help us increase bereavement support in Plymouth again for our local community.
5. What motivated you to do the job/role that you are doing now?
From a young age my life was affected by the death of a baby. I watched as those around me received inadequate care after the loss and it has driven me ever since to improve that. A death does not just impact the first days and weeks but can shape and have a profound effect on life furthermore. My motivation is that no-one should feel alone, stereotyped and that if someone grieves that grief should be acknowledged.
6. Who else do you work alongside within the charity? Are there any charities that support you, or perhaps a colleague/volunteer that you couldn’t manage without?
The core of the charity has seven trustees. These are my right hand men and women who I couldn’t do this without. I have always been the face of the charity as it was my initial story that started things off. However the charity is far more than just me. It is these core trustees but also an even bigger community that year on year provide clothing, help at the memorial garden and generally support what we do.
7. It is likely that somebody new to the services of the charity is reading this. What would you like to say to them?
I would say have a look and see what we are about. We are a friendly group who just want to make a difference. We want anyone affected by the tragedy of baby loss to know they are not alone. There is always someone at the end of a message, at our group or waiting at the memorial garden tidy up days. Everyone in our immediate team has in some way been affected by the loss of a baby and we really do understand what you are feeling right now. Reach out and let us help you.
8. What are your specific hopes for the future in terms Little Things and Co.?
My hope is that we can continue to support the families of Plymouth and even further afield when they receive the worst possible news. I hope we can grow, continue to be a voice for the baby loss community and ensure we break down the barriers that bereaved families face.
9. Thank you so much for taking part in this interview series. Lastly, before we finish - Is there anything else about you, the charity or your job/role that you’d like to let people know about?
I would say follow us on social media, come along to our garden tidy up days, get in touch and talk to us. We want to help those bereaved by the loss of a baby, but we also love that we have become a community group in Plymouth with our fundraising and garden days. Unfortunately, some people feel segregated because their loss was different from the norm. We at Little Things & Co. understand baby loss comes in various ways and not everyone fits into society’s box. We don’t ask you to fit a criteria for you to be welcomed in. Get in touch if you need our practical or emotional support or if you think you could help us with our work.
To find out more information or get in touch with Little Things & Co, please visit their website
The impact on families following the loss of a baby is devastating and Wolferstans support clients affected by loss and serious injury. If you or any members of your family been affected by baby loss or any injury at birth, and you would like to receive free, sensitive and independent legal advice, without any obligation,
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