When Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates experienced the loss of five babies, little did they know that an idea to provide ‘services of remembrance’ for other people who had experienced loss would literally change their lives. 2023 sees their charity The Mariposa Trust, celebrate a decade of support, and it has never been busier, having held over 180 services in 7 countries, and having over 50,000 people access support each week, from one of the charity’s six support divisions.
Each year around 20 services are held around the UK and beyond, strategically placed to try and allow as many people as possible to be able to attend. On the Saturday 8th of July at 1pm, the regional service for Oxfordshire and beyond will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
The ‘Saying Goodbye’ services, are for families, couples and individuals affected by the loss of a baby, whether that be during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, and regardless of whether the loss was recent or decades ago. In addition, anyone grieving never having children is also most welcome to attend.
The services are open to people of faith or no faith and are uplifting and moving events filled with music, poems, acts of remembrance and more. Over the years, the services have been attended by thousands of people, who have found healing and solace by taking part, just like Kathryn from Oxford will be doing. She explains:
Emma from Oxford also describes her reason for attending:
The charity’s CEO Zoe Clark-Coates MBE commented:
Sadly, baby loss affects around 1 in 4 pregnancies annually in the UK, with nearly 700 babies lost daily. When parents go through the devastating loss of a baby, during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, they often feel isolated and unable to process the overwhelming grief and trauma that miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and early years’ loss brings. The services allow people to stand with others who have experienced the similar trauma of baby loss and collectively acknowledge and remember each life lost.
Co-CEO Andy concludes;
Who are the Mariposa Trust?
The Mariposa Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales providing free support to people affected by baby loss, pregnancy after baby loss, fertility, adoption and more, Over the past decade the pioneering work of the charity has led to it becoming a leader in this field.
In 2018, Zoe was appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and 10 Downing Street to chair the ‘National Pregnancy Loss Review’, looking at all pre-24-week baby loss support in the UK. In addition, Zoe was awarded an MBE for services to baby loss in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021.
More information on the charity can be found at www.mariposatrust.org and via www.sayinggoodbye.org. The charity has multiple social media pages, and can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sayinggoodbyeuk, on Twitter @SayingGoodbyeUK, and on lnstagram at www.instagram.com/sayinggoodbye charity.