It would have been impossible to run Maggie’s legacy on our own, but we have found ourselves lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing and supportive family and friends that have helped the cause to become as special as it is.
Sarah & Mark Parsons,
Maggie’s Mummy & Daddy
Since her birth in June 2015 they have worked together to fundraise in order to buy equipment that would benefit other families going through similar bereavement.
When you lose your child it’s like waking up every single day lost.
Your world becomes forever distorted and warped with a dark pain and deep unseen scars. There are no words to describe the pain we feel every day.
We will never “forget it” and we will never “get over it” because we will miss our child till our very last breath!
Oliver Parsons, Maggie’s Big Brother
Oliver helps to gather and go through donations to Maggie’s legacy. He also helps his Dad (Mark) and Step Mum (Sarah) to run Maggie’s social media pages.
“I am very proud of how the fundraising is going, keeping the memory of my sister Maggie alive. I feel very proud to be a part of such an amazing cause and I am very excited to see what else is to follow ”
Lizzie is Maggie’s Auntie, and Sarah’s sister & Best Friend. Lizzie helps sort through donations and collections.
“I first came to know about cuddle cots and memory boxes when I lost my niece, Maggie, at full term. Whilst in the hospital Maggie was able to be kept with the family in a cuddle cot so that our family (who live all around the world) had time to come over and meet her before she had to leave us forever!
It was in the hospital that I came across a mother who had lost her child and had no cuddle cot, meaning her baby had to go straight to the mortuary. I remember thinking how unfair this was – that we were in a room with a cuddle cot so that we could spend time with Maggie, yet others were unable to do this because there was only one available.
When we left the hospital and Sarah and I spoke about this it made her even more driven to start the fundraising and I know that this is the main reason that my sister and Mark continue with it. They never want another parent to have the pain of not being able to spend precious moments and create at least some memories with their child. I am forever proud of my sister and all the team around her. The volunteers are amazing and help with the fundraising. Without Sarah and the whole team it wouldn’t be possible to help so many others in a time of need. The difference that is made in people’s saddest moments by their efforts is something that cannot be described.”
Jill met Sarah at a fundraiser. She makes all the angel blankets and gowns for early pregnancy loss, stillbirth and child death up to the age of 16. Jill also runs auctions on Maggie’s stillbirth legacy Facebook page.
“My most precious memory of my unborn son is feeling him inside me. Christopher passed away on a cold rainy night on the 13/12/89. I was told to go home and get on. My son never had a voice, as I was encouraged to go back to normal and forget him. How are you supposed to do this?!! I buried my son’s memories and voice deep inside, causing depression and resentment and many other negative feelings. Christopher was never mentioned by myself or family, like he was never here.
I met Sarah at a fundraiser we were both running stalls on. That meeting changed my world. Through support and help Christopher now has a voice and a place for me to call his which I can sit and talk to him. I talk about him and smile. He is no longer just in my thoughts . Because of him I feel blessed to be able to now help others
Vicki is a lifelong friend of Sarah’s and also Maggie’s God Mother. Vicki set up the first Facebook page for Maggie’s Legacy
“When I first went to meet Maggie I was full of a mixture of emotions – brokenhearted, anxious, scared and also a little daunted by what I would be walking into as passed through those doors. I needn’t of been. The suite in which Maggie, Sarah and Mark were staying in was so tranquil and made as homely as possible. Maggie lay in “Oliver’s” crib – I always remember reading the quote on the top of the crib and it’s one of the things that always stuck in my mind, and to this day still does.
As I cradled Maggie, Sarah and I chatted – as you would as a new mum – about her birth, who bought her the outfit she was wearing, her snuggly from her daddy. And Sarah explained the reasoning for the cot. I remember how an amazing gift, from another set of bereaved parents, had allowed my amazing friend and Mark to spend this precious time with their daughter. I was in total awe. We cried, we laughed and I cuddled my goddaughter, the most beautiful chubby baby, whilst her mum took a look through the memory box we had brought for her.
As the days passed after Maggie’s birth, and Sarah and Mark returned home, amidst all of her grief Sarah was desperate to do something to give back and to keep Maggie’s memory alive. She needed something to keep her mind occupied, and she always held a sense of guilt that while she used that cot there was someone else who didn’t get the opportunity as there had only been one. We talked often and Sarah found out the cost of cold cots. She wanted to do the same for Maggie.
Sarah spent a lot of her pregnancy with her sister up cycling furniture. It was an idea but was too personal and held memories for only her and Lizzie, so from that came the idea of an auction page where we ask for donations of stuff and sell it all! One mans junk is another’s mans treasure right? So that’s how it began. We made a Facebook page, asked for donations and it began! What had originally started as a way to raise funds for one cot has now turned into us having to ask if any hospitals need them! Sarah has scattered Maggie’s memory the length and breadth of the country – from hospitals to funeral homes, there are now memory boxes in Maggie’s name. And the floating support she gives is amazing. She has a beautiful place at the cemetery that Maggie’s daddy Mark tends to and preserves so other angel mummies and daddies can go and be alone with their thoughts. The list really is endless of what this amazingly strong couple put back into the community that once grieved with them and I’m super proud to call them my friends”
Danielle Woodward and Danny Pickin
Danielle is one of Sarah’s lifelong friends and Danny is her partner. Danielle is also Maggie’s God Mother. They started the very first fundraising and this in turn gave Sarah reason to carry on.
Still, to this day, Ill never forget the devastating news when Sarah phoned me from the hospital. It just didn’t feel real and I clung on to every bit of hope that it would be wrong.
I went to the hospital to see Sarah that afternoon. She had a lot of support around her and she was much stronger than I expected. I left the hospital & kept in close contact with Sarah’s sister, Lizzie, who was keeping me updated on Sarah’s labour and let me know how Sarah was when Maggie arrived. I went straight over the to hospital to meet Maggie and she was perfect, absolutely beautiful! I didn’t feel any different when meeting and holding Maggie and why would I? We had all been waiting so long for this moment it was just very different to how we’d expected. The time that Sarah and Mark got to spend with Maggie was so precious. They got to dress Maggie, read to her, spend nights with her and do all the things you would normally do with a newborn. There was enough time for everyone to meet Maggie, and I know how important that was to Sarah. I know Sarah felt extremely lucky to have been able to spend that precious time with Maggie. The hospital only had 1 cuddle cot and I remember Sarah telling me of another family that had been in and also lost their baby and as the hospital only had one cuddle cot they wouldn’t have the same opportunity that Sarah and Mark had. Sarah’s heart seemed to break all over again as she knew how much it had meant to them. I came home that night and thought there needs to be more of these cots. I spoke to my partner, Danny, and we decided to try raise funds to try and get one in Maggie’s name and memory. I knew how much that would mean to Sarah, so we set up a “go fund me” page and arranged a sponsored walk. The response and the kindness of people was amazing. Sarah took over shortly after and did many other things to raise funds and has not stopped since that day! The amount of cots, memory boxes, angel gowns and more is insane! Not just that but many many other things she has done in the memory of Maggie is out of this world! She should be very proud of herself for all the help and support she has given to others and all she as achieved danielle woodward
Mel is our “go to” when it comes to form filling. She is a children’s author, writer and community educator, and has recently set up the Bees and Birds Project which supports families in talking about all aspects of growing up. Melissa has also been awarded funding from the National Lottery to set up a project which works closely with adults who have learning disabilities. The project seeks to educate about sex, healthy relationships, staying safe and friendships.
The project was set up in memory of Melissa’s brother, Marvin, who was tragically murdered 18 years ago. Marvin had learning disabilities and was a vulnerable adult. The project is also hoping to secure more funding to tackle the issues of knife crime against vulnerable groups. Melissa has long advocated for stricter knife crime laws and more education for young people. She has held workshops at local schools, universities and worked with the police to create a training video on restorative justice. This work was done in memory of Marvin
Stacy is a freelance administrator, running Stacys Admin Desk, where she deals with administrative tasks for small businesses. Stacy has been on board with Maggie’s Legacy for a few years now, dealing with general day to day admin, website building and print creations which Sarah can’t do. Sarah hates technology and openly admits she would be at a total loss without her.
I met Sarah through her sister, Lizzie, and after hearing their tragedy I started to follow what she was doing through Facebook. I regularly buy from her auctions, take part in raffles and also donate goods to auction when I get the chance.
Sarah asked me to help with some of the admin for the charity a short while ago and it’s such a pleasure. I know what a special place Maggie’s Legacy holds to her and her family so to be part of that is a real honour.
When you see what a difference Sarah and her team make it is amazing. I can’t imagine going through what Sarah and Mark have. But in the process of building her website and seeing what everyone has to say about the difference Maggie’s Legacy is making I feel truly honoured to be involved and excited about how far she can take her angel’s name and make a difference to many more families.
Meet Maggie’s Team 02.05.2020