Funding boost for Hartlepool support group which helps grieving families

Members of The Durham Centre Caravan Club present a cheque to Joanne Morton-Lake (right) chairman of the Baby Bereavement Support Group.
Members of The Durham Centre Caravan Club present a cheque to Joanne Morton-Lake (right) chairman of the Baby Bereavement Support Group.

Charity bosses have welcomed a donation of more than £1,400 from caravan club members.

The Baby Bereavement Support Group, which is based in York Road in Hartlepool, was delighted to receive £1,480 from the Durham Centre Caravan Club, and treasurer Christina Morton-Lake admitted: “We were ecstatic.”

Christina Morton-Lake of the Baby Bereavement Support Group.

Christina Morton-Lake of the Baby Bereavement Support Group.

It’s a welcome boost for the support group, which has two parts to its operation.

One is the shop, which funds the service it provides, in ways including selling ‘shabby chic’ furniture.

The other is the counselling arm which the group provides to the parents of tragic babies from its headquarters.

But, as Christina explained, it is much more than giving support to the parents of young babies who seek help.

There are 280 people in the Hartlepool and Middlesbrough and Stockton areas who come to us and it is not just the parents of babies. We help anyone who is in need of our bereavement service

Christina Morton-Lake

“There are 280 people in the Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton areas who come to us, and it is not just the parents of babies.

“We help anyone who is in need of our bereavement service. At the end of the day, if you have lost a child of any age, they are still your baby.”

Although the group gets some NHS funding, it still needs support and bosses said the donation will really help, especially as the service’s reach is as far as Peterborough.

That’s because there is nothing like it in the country.

Christina explained: “We are the only service in the UK which offers what we do. The counselling part of it is unique.”

The Hartlepool organisation has six committee members, as well as eight volunteers and befrienders. They do sterling work among that small team.

The counselling support can work by group representatives visiting people in their homes, although people are also welcome to come to the York Road centre.

Christina said: “The Caravan Club does this once a year and we were elated to receive it this year.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about the group, or who would like to give their support, can visit the website here.

They can also call the 24-hour telephone service on (01429) 231221, or call in at the group’s base at 208 York Road.