Support floods in for Twinkling Stars Appeal

MR1170 Twinkling Stars Brett Owen Chloe and Chris Turner Jayne Chambers Stephanie Fretter.jpg

Support for Kettering General Hospital’s new Twinkling Stars Appeal has come flooding in

The appeal – launched on November 6 - aims to raise £1m to dramatically improve the bereavement facilities for local families who have suffered the trauma of losing their baby

The aim is to develop a brand new bereavement room, family room, quiet room and office separated from the Labour Suite – where bereaved families can currently be surrounded by families going through the joy of childbirth.

Kettering General Hospital’s Bereavement Midwife, Stephanie Fretter, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the way in which local people are coming forward to support the appeal.

“Some of our bereaved families knew we were planning an appeal and have already held fundraising events and are now presenting the money they have raised.

“Other local individuals and staff have held – or are planning to hold – events to support the appeal.

“Our own Midwifery Department held its annual ball on November 1 at the Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel in Corby and raised £1,800.”

Kettering Park Hotel has also contributed £250 to the Appeal and presented a cheque to the hospital on November 15.

Each year the hospital’s maternity department cares for up to 100 families who suffer the heartbreak of losing their baby.

This can happen during pregnancy, around birth itself, or through compassionate induction - where a baby has so many genetic problems that they will not survive.

Family who lost twin girls support the appeal with £5,550 donation

Chloe and Chris Turner from Burton Latimer lost their twin girls, Amelia and Alice, shortly after they were born prematurely at 24 weeks on June 3, 2018.

Amelia, who weighed 1lb at birth, died aged four weeks in Leicester Royal Infirmary and Alice, who weighed 1lb3oz, died three weeks after that at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Chloe said: “Amelia and Alice were looked after in hospitals that both had separate facilities for bereaved parents so we were very aware of just how important that is.

“Therefore we wanted to raise money for the appeal which we know is aiming to address that issue at Kettering General Hospital.

“The appeal will enable the hospital to provide appropriate facilities for bereaved parents and their families which are separate from families who are experiencing happy events.”

The couple, along with Brett Owen, from Burton Latimer, raised £5,550 at a fundraising event they arranged called a Charity BASH (Building A Superior Hospital) at the Corn Market Hall in Kettering on October 11, during national baby loss awareness week.

Brett – who is an entertainer who dresses as many different TV and film characters – put on a disco and organised the children’s entertainment – starring as Spiderman, a Minion, Olaf from Frozen and Iron Man. There was also live music, a raffle, tombola and cake stalls.

Twinkling Stars Appeal Fundraiser Jayne Chambers said “We are enormously grateful to Chloe and Chris and Brett for their support and for going to such a great effort to support our new appeal.

“The Twinkling Stars Appeal is Kettering General Hospital’s main fundraising appeal for 2019-2020 so we would very much like as many local people as possible to support us.”

How you can help

There are lots of amazing things members of the community can do as individuals, as families, or as clubs or groups, to support the Twinkling Stars Appeal.

Appeal Fundraiser Jayne Chambers said: “You can run your own fundraising events or help directly by helping us sell raffle tickets for our KGH Christmas Raffle or taking part in fundraising collections.

“If you want to be part of something bigger watch out for our publicised major events on our KGH Charity Fund Facebook page and our Twitter page KGH Charity Fund.

“Whatever you choose to do we will support and publicise your event once you let us know and we are very grateful for everyone’s efforts – however big or small.”

In the run-up to Christmas – and Black Friday – you can support the Appeal by buying your shopping, gifts, etc online via the website and searching for and clicking on the Twinkling Stars Appeal or download the Easyfundraising App.

To support the Appeal directly contact Jayne Chambers on 07974-259343 or Maxine Andrews on 01536-491375 or email them: or

You can also donate directly to the Appeal’s Virgin Money Giving page – – or go to the KGH website on for more information.

Members of the public can also follow the appeal on twitter @kghcharityfund with the hashtag   #KGHTwinklingStarsAppeal. On Facebook you can follow the appeal on the KGH Charity Fund Page

Rallying call to businesses to support Twinkling Stars

The support of local businesses will be hugely important to the success of the appeal, say organisers.

Appeal Fundraiser Jayne Chambers said: “This is a major opportunity for local businesses to show their support for families who will go through the heartbreak of losing their baby.

“We are asking businesses to consider choosing Twinkling Stars as their Charity of the Year so that team building events such as sponsored walks, runs, climbs or fun days can help support the appeal. 

“Having a strong local focus will mean employees know they are doing their bit for their local community and hospital.

“It boosts staff morale and is a great example of corporate social engagement.

“It also offers the chance to generate positive publicity for your company, and demonstrates your brand values to employees, customers, and other business associates.

“We will also work with companies to develop an employee engagement strategy that demonstrates mutual commitment to the partnership.”

Why we need to plan ahead for our growing population

Population in Northamptonshire over the last 30 years has grown by 30.6% - twice the national average.

There are also 35,000 new homes planned for North Northamptonshire over the next 10 years attracting many younger families.

The Trust’s Charitable Funds Committee has adopted the Midwifery Bereavement Suite development as its main focus for fundraising for 2019-2020.

The hospital’s facilities currently consist of:

  • The Snowdrop Room - A standard delivery room within the Delivery Suite that is our only current facility for bereavement care. Across the corridor is small room which contains a refrigerated cold cot where a baby’s body can be kept. Behind the room there is small courtyard garden developed with the support of Northamptonshire SANDS (the Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity).
  • A shared sitting room within the Delivery Suite.  This family room is used primarily by parents having normal deliveries and who are celebrating. Bereaved families currently have to share the use of this room with them.

The plan is to develop a new bereavement suite

The new suite is planned to be adjacent to the Delivery Suite but entirely separate from it.

It will be a place where families who have suffered a loss can get quiet, compassionate and supportive care and spend time with their loved one.

It would create:

  • A new bereavement room with ensuite bathroom and an appropriate cold cot
  • A new Family Room just for bereaved families to use entirely separate from the delivery suite. This would be a place where family members could meet, wait in, and use in support of bereaved parents. It would have a kitchenette, sofa bed, and be a quite private place.
  • Quiet Room and office – This would be a place where the bereavement midwives are based which would have the dual purpose of being a quiet room where bad news could be communicated or where post mortem results could be discussed. The bereavement midwives currently share offices in the Delivery Suite.