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Tuesday 3 May 2022

Newcastle Permanent employees have dug deep to support grieving families who have experienced the tragic loss of a baby through stillborn and miscarriage in Regional NSW.

Thanks to the generosity of our employees, Newcastle Permanent recently donated $14,000 to not-for-profit Bears of Hope, to help relive the distress experienced by families in Regional NSW who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby.

Bears of Hope provides a lifetime of comfort through ongoing counselling, support groups and resources for parents across Australia who have experienced loss through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infancy.

Co-founder and CEO Amanda Bowles said the funding will be used to help relieve the suffering, distress and misfortune experienced by parents and families when they lose a baby.

“Access to support can be difficult for people in regional areas so Bears of Hope offers resources as well as free, one on one counselling via telehealth,” Amanda said.

“This funding from Newcastle Permanent is vital to us being able to give more families in regional NSW hope and support to navigate the ongoing challenges they will face,” she said.

Through our CommunityAssist program, Newcastle Permanent employees donate around $60,000 to charities each year via voluntary payroll deductions. Participating employees individually nominate deserving charities, with the rest of the organisation then voting to select two charities biannually to receive funding.

This donation was made possible by Premium Banking manager Nicola Rowett, who received an endless amount of support from Bears of Hope after losing her stillborn daughter Luna in June last year.

The 29 year old mum of three said Bears of Hope provided her with resources, counselling and connection to others who had experienced a similar loss.

“It was really helpful to connect with other families who unfortunately have suffered a loss of a child through pregnancy and infant loss,” Nicola said.

“With the help from Bears of Hope, I was able explain Luna’s death to my two older children Sadie and Jonah, and help with their feelings of losing their baby sister,” she said.

Nicola said there are many ways to support a family member, friend or colleague who has experienced pregnancy and infant loss.

“Initially, just being there – in person or via a message or card – really helps. Dropping off food, helping with other children or cleaning is practical and welcome support,” she said.

“I want people to remember Luna and not feel awkward talking about her. People should use the baby’s name and include them on cards to a family, ask questions about the baby and remember special dates such as birthdays and due dates, as they would for other children.”

Sadly, over 2000 babies are stillborn each year in Australia, and one in every four women will miscarry at some point in their lives.

Bears of Hope aims to ease the suffering, distress and isolation that comes with this real and devastating loss. Families can purchase and donate a Bear from Bears of Hope, with each bear purchased donated in memory of another baby.

'When it's too much to bear. A Bear of Hope can help.'

Bears of Hope will be hosting High Teas for Bereaved Mothers in the lead up to Mother’s Day in various regional centres.

For event details, resources and support for families, employers and health professionals on baby or infant loss, or to volunteer or donate, visit bearsofhope.org.au or call 1300 11 HOPE.

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