This month marks nine years since Little Things and Co. was created. It is with great sadness, yet immense pride that we have decided, on this important milestone, that the charity will close.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly and immense thought has gone into the decision.
Since the charity’s inception in 2013 our Founder LeighAnne Wright has led the fight for better bereavement care and supported those suffering from the agony of grief after the death of a child. Like the majority of charities it was borne out of personal experience and to fill a need that was not at the time being catered for. As time has gone on there have been two deciding factors to us stopping. Firstly, that bereavement care has improved with many other charities now providing services that were originally exclusive to Little Things and Co. As time has gone on there are now many options and choice for families and this is so progressive and important.
The second factor has been the emotional toll that dealing with such sadness has taken. Although the charity consists of trustees and many volunteers, the support aspect has been led by LeighAnne and behind every message is a real baby with a heartbroken family. Although we have policies in place to protect our staff there is no policy for real human interaction and inevitably caring for so many for so long.
Since 2013 it has been an honour and a privilege to walk alongside those grieving the loss of their precious baby. Like all charities Little Things and Co. was borne from personal experience and in the beginning it was an outlet for my own grieving, to be able to help others who felt as I did. As time went on I could give the benefit of my experience to those newly bereaved. However as I go through the next step of my grieving and healing I no longer feel best placed to help in the appropriate way. It is time to focus on the next chapter of my own journey and sadly that is not compatible with running the charity. Every message and every comment can be triggering and as I have always advocated for others I have to now protect my own heart, my own peace and be kind to myself.
Over the years I have met some of the most wonderful, giving and generous people and some have become friends for life. I have had the privilege of meeting some of your beautiful babies, their rainbow siblings and it has been such an incredible journey.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to every single person who has supported us, whether by donating, lending their time or their skills and for everyone who has walked this path with us.
Finally I would like to thank our incredible team who have donated thousands of hours of their own time to help me help improve bereavement care in Plymouth and beyond. I could not have done this without you and I am so very grateful.
There is much work to be done to close a registered charity. This process will take some time. However this can be done behind the scenes. Our last day of providing services will be today. However we know many of you will have many questions. We have tried to answer them below.
We will stop providing our services from today. However we will be holding a garden day asap to ensure the garden is left in a good condition.
There are some practical things that need to be taken care of so we will still be working behind the scenes for some time.
The page and our other social media will remain open until April 30th to allow us to give you updates and then be closed.
Ed Smith will continue to run the team but under a new name. They will wear our kit until a new brand is established, for ease.
At present we have no definite answers here. We are currently talking to the hospital to establish what will happen. We want to ensure the pebbles are respected and discussions are under way to finalise plans. However we will keep you updated.
If you would like to take your pebble home you are welcome to go and collect it any time before the 9th April.
All of the clothing will be used. We will be sending to the regular hospitals we supply but in bulk. Nothing will be wasted.
As per the Charity Commission guidelines we will be supporting other similar charities on a local basis. Details of these donations will be announced in the coming weeks. We do still have quite a substantial amount in our account so we aim to make donations that we know will help our local community. Unfortunately we do not feel it is appropriate to put this out to a vote as the scope will be too large. Instead it will be decided between the trustees using our experience to know who needs it the most.
Any funds that have been restricted (ie allocated for a specific purpose, raised by an individual) will be put to the person who donated them and we will allow them to choose where it goes. Please note if you did not specify ‘restricted funds’ when fundraising it will have gone into the main fundraising pot and will be allocated as per above.
We are currently in discussion regarding the literature and an update will be provided asap. However any already in print will be utilised and nothing wasted.
Any equipment we have will be donated to relevant charities and those who can best use the items. For example any charity pots, tombola or fundraising material (that does not bear our details) will be given to another local charity. The gazebo and projector will be donated to a local Beavers group.
There were various reasons. Firstly although the charity has a board of trustees and lots of volunteers it was LeighAnne who dealt with the emotional aspect and would go through the messages. Each message had a precious baby and a real family attached and the emotional toll became too much. We tried various things to help with the pressure but ultimately no one else could do what LeighAnne did. After nine years, alongside the day job as a Funeral Director LeighAnne’s health was becoming affected and we knew we needed to make a change. A full statement has been released (see above).
Unfortunately not. The transition would be too difficult and LeighAnne would still be called upon which is not suitable.
We are currently compiling a list of other charities and these will be displayed on our website in the near future.
LeighAnne will maintain the current graves in a personal basis but no new graves will be accepted.
Little Things and Co. designed the wall but as per the last four years Weston Mill will hold responsibility for it so nothing will change there.
We know many of you have become friends and we will be holding a garden day in April where you can come along and say goodbye. Details of this will be updated shortly.
Samaritans - call 116 123 or visit website
Pregnancy Crisis Care - call 01752 246788 or visit website