Abigail’s Footsteps

Rochester Charity Nominated for a Kent Mental Health & Wellbeing Award

A baby loss charity providing care and support to families who have suffered a bereavement, as well as education for healthcare professionals directly involved in caring for bereaved parents, has been nominated for a county-wide awards event.

During successive national and local lockdowns during the pandemic, bereavement midwives in Kent have reported an increase in deaths. Abigail’s Footsteps has provided consistent support to parents and families throughout these most difficult of times.

Of particular importance, Naomi Marston from Lifecare Counselling, who launched the Charity’s specialist baby loss counselling programme in 2019, moved all of Abigail’s Footsteps’ funded counselling sessions to an online platform when the pandemic hit. Naomi continued to provide much-needed sessions to parents, giving vital help through devastating times.

Faye Hill, who nominated the Charity said: “Since the 2019 partnership and launch of the baby loss counselling programme through Abigail’s Footsteps and Naomi Marston from Lifecare Counselling, the referrals from Kent bereavement teams has been staggering. Naomi has delivered over 500 individual sessions and helped support over 60 Kent families through the devastating loss of their baby. By providing on-line sessions during the pandemic, we have been able to provide continued support and to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with the loss of a child.”

A recent client of the charity wrote: “…my partner and I were given six free counselling sessions with an amazing counsellor Naomi. It’s so vital to speak to someone when you suffer such a loss. The fact that Abigail’s Footsteps is doing this for bereaved parents touches my heart and I will be forever grateful.”

North Kent Mind is just one of the organisations helping to champion the new Kent Mental Health & Wellbeing Awards, and they are encouraging charities, businesses, schools and community groups to get involved. 

Simon Dolby from the awards event team said: “With vaccination numbers climbing all the time, we are starting to see the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel. Now is the time to think about the people and organisations who have helped support us over recent months. This autumn we will celebrate that support.”

Mr Dolby added that although the Covid lockdown had prompted this pilot event to be staged, he was confident it would become a permanent fixture in the Kent calendar.

“The focus on mental health and wellbeing will not diminish over the coming years and so there will always be a place for an event to celebrate hard work, dedication, great ideas and wellbeing best practice.”

Nominations can be linked to a simple act of kindness that lifted the spirits, a business that has improved staff wellbeing, through to a targeted initiative delivered by a charity, community group or statutory organisation to support a mental health issue. 

Submit nominations at www.KentMHWAwards.org.uk For awards news follow @KentMHWAwards on Twitter.

The Awards event is supported by North Kent Mind, Kent Community Foundation, Independent Music Productions, Buckland Press, Blé Couture Cakes, Ashford International Hotel.

If you would like help or advice from Abigail’s Footsteps, visit; www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk.

For more information contact Claire Burns (claire.c.w.burns@southkentmind.org.uk)