As well as giving out our bears through our health professional partners, we donate bears to other organisations who support families after baby loss at any stage of pregnancy. We currently work with over 170 hospitals in the UK, as well as an increasing number of hospices, support groups and funeral directors. We also send bears to families who contact us to request one.
In the UK, around 3,000 babies are stillborn each year and thousands more parents experience early and late miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, termination for medical reasons, neonatal death and loss through separation from their baby. There are an enormous number of families affected by the loss of a baby and others who face infertility after a loss, and/or loss after successful fertility treatment. Aching Arms, which began as a small grassroots charity, has seen demand for its service double in the last 12 months. Last year we donated over 5,000 bears to bereaved families.
Aching Arms has recently extended it services and now offers direct support to parents via our Supporting Arms support service, a telephone and email support service which is run by bereaved parents. The service offers families the chance to talk to someone who has an understanding of what they’re going through and helps them feel they’re not alone. For further details of the service please visit the Supporting Arms page.
Aching Arms is raising awareness of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss and we work hard with other organisations and groups to increase understanding of the life changing and long-term effect of baby loss. We are very active in advocating improvement in bereavement care in both health settings and the workplace. To this end, the charity has developed and runs training for health professionals, employers and people managers. If you are interested in learning more about our workplace training, please take a look at our Workplace Bereavement Training page.
If you’d like to support the work that we do, either as a fundraiser, a corporate partner or if you want to help raise awareness or volunteer,
please get in touch.
Click here to download our Aching Arms general leaflet (PDF) or here for the leaflet in Welsh (PDF).
Click here to download the Aching Arms Strategy 2022-2025 document, 'Towards 2025 - Reaching Bereaved Parents in New Ways'.
It’s not just a bear, it’s like someone walking up to you and holding your hand through your darkest days.
Aching Arms is a proud member of the Pregnancy & Baby Charities Network. The network represents UK charities whose focus includes one or more of the following:
The Pregnancy & Baby Charities Network is governed by agreed Terms of Reference (PDF) . Read their Manifesto 2021 (PDF) and take a look at all the organisations who are involved. You can also read their Manifesto for Wales 2021 and the Expanded Welsh Manifesto, and the Manifesto in Welsh and the Expanded Manifesto in Welsh. You can also find the Manifesto for Scotland here.
Aching Arms is delighted to be a member of the International Stillbirth Alliance. ISA, established in 2003, is an alliance of over 50 member organisations and individual supporters on every continent. ISA’s mission is to raise awareness and promote global collaboration for the prevention of stillbirth and newborn death and provision of appropriate respectful care for all those affected. Within this organisation, Aching Arms is actively participating in the ‘Bereavement Working Group’ and ‘Advocacy Working Group’ aiming to improve bereavement care internationally.
For more information about the ISA and the work they are doing please visit: www.stillbirthalliance.org
We are proud to be a member and supporter of the annual Baby Loss Awareness Week. The Baby Loss Awareness Week Alliance are committed to raising awareness of pregnancy and baby loss, providing support to anyone affected by pregnancy loss and the death of a baby, working with health professionals and services to improve bereavement care, and reducing preventable deaths.
Each October a week is spent raising awareness using events, fundraising activities, mainstream and social media, in order to make a real and lasting difference. The week culminates with a national, and international, Wave of Light event, remembering all the precious lives that have been lost.
For further information, please visit www.babyloss-awareness.org
We are delighted to support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss. Founded in February 2016, the APPG brings together MPs and Peers from across parties to work on this vital issue.
The APPG’s overall aims are to develop policy that supports families dealing with the grief and loss of a baby, and to raise awareness of what more can be done by the Government, Parliament or other agencies to help those affected.
For further information, please visit www.sands.org.uk/appg
“You may wonder why our charity logo is the dandelion? Well, I see their life cycle as a similar one to our babies who died too soon. The dandelion bursts into life bringing with it a vibrant joy, signifying that winter has ended. This is how I felt when I found out I was pregnant with James. A new life had begun and with it, brighter happy days lay ahead, after years of longing.
But just like the dandelion, my baby's life was all too brief and the vibrant joy soon turned to the deepest sadness. The flower remained beautiful, but it transformed into a delicate globe of little seeds. When the wind blows, the seeds fly up into the sky and take with them the hope of bringing a warm smile to someone else, somewhere, someday.
Our baby’s lives were ephemeral, precious and delicate just like the dandelion. But they existed and they will touch the lives of others. We pass their memory on to others through the gift of a teddy bear. Where the dandelion seed brings beauty to a meadow, a city footpath or a hedgerow, a bear in memory of your baby will bring warmth and comfort to someone, somewhere who finds themselves on a similar path to us.”
Leanne Turner, Aching Arms Founder/CEO
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