A mum who endured the heartbreak of losing her baby is holding a black-tie ball to raise cash for memory boxes to give to bereaved parents.
Deniece Colley, 35, and husband Matthew, 33, were given the tragic news that their unborn son Reece had no heartbeat at their 26-week scan in April 2011.
Four years on, the mum-of-five set up the not-for-profit Forget-Me-Not memory box scheme to help other bereaved parents going through the same experience, and since the start she has handed out 20 at Watford General Hospital.
Deniece, who lives in Hemel’s Old Town, said: “They cost between £15 and £20 a box, and we’ve handed out about 20 so far.
“We’ve raised more than £600 by doing a coffee morning at the Co-Op Funeral Care in the Marlowes, so that’s going towards more boxes too.”
Each box contains a blanket, scented candle, a bag of forget-me-not seeds, an inkless footprint kit and a notebook, as well as a letter from Deniece and Matthew.
Also inside is a memory chip for a camera, so parents can capture precious moments with their child, as well as two teddies – one for baby and one for mums and dads to keep.
Forget-Me-Nots completely relies on donations from the public, as well as a weekly playgroup at Grovehill Community Centre and the sale of second-hand baby clothes and toys.
All the cash raised goes directly towards creating the boxes which are a lifeline to parents during a traumatic time.
Deniece, who is also mum to Nathan, 14, Marshall, nine, Riley, three, and Aurora, one, said: “I love the idea of helping people but what is more fulfilling is that all those who are donating stuff are giving these people memories and they have never met them face-to-face. It’s humbling.”
Deniece’s latest fundraiser is a glamorous charity ball on Saturday, September 26 at Apsley Community Centre.
The £25 ticket includes a glass of bubbly, a red-carpet entrance and a two-course buffet while the moment is captured by an official photographer.
The dress code is strictly black tie, with the evening beginning at 7pm and ending at 11.30pm.
Tickets are available to buy online at www.forget-me-not-memory-boxes.co.uk/events/
No tickets can be bought on the door.