Morecambe family's fundraiser to mark tragic loss on what would have been beloved daughter's third birthday

A couple are keeping their cherished daughter, Florrie's legacy alive by inviting families to a fundraiser this weekend (January 29th).

By Faiza Afzaal
Monday, 24th January 2022, 3:45 pm

Jake (33) and Emma Taylor (31), who returned to live in Morecambe, where they were born and brought up, having briefly lived in Kent due to work commitments, are hoping kind people will support them by attending the eventful day at St Christopher's Church Hall, in aid of three deserving babyloss charities.

In January 2019, Emma, who was two weeks overdue with her second baby, Florrie, and with no complications during the pregnancy, was told by a midwife the devastating news that her baby’s heart had stopped. Amid the grief, the following day Florrie was born at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, where she was delivered with the support of an amazing team of bereavement midwives and doctors.

"We finally got to meet our gorgeous baby girl," recalled Emma. "We felt very lucky that the hospital had a designated bereavement suite with vital equipment in the maternity unit for tragic events like this, meaning we were able to spend valuable time with our precious girl and other family members, in private.

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From left: Imogen, baby Freddie, Emma and Jake

"Nothing can prepare you for the sudden loss of a baby or child, no matter their gestation period or age. To say it is utterly heartbreaking doesn't even seem strong enough."

For the past three years, Jake and Emma, along with their 10-year-old daughter, Imogen, have sought to find positives in the achingly sad situation by raising thousands of pounds for baby loss charities, Sands, Abigail's Footsteps and Tigerlily Trust.

Emma explained: "As we began to find our way through our grief and heartbreak, supporting our then seven-year-old daughter, Imogen, this is when our first lot of fundraising began. Imogen is so talented at drawing and painting and so began painting pictures for people who made a donation to the charity, Sands, as she had read about their work in the bereavement suite at the hospital. The donations came flooding in and her artwork went flooding out, raising a magnificent total of £1,250!

"Last year, through the charity Abigail's Footsteps, we found out that the Royal Lancaster Infirmary's maternity department was in need of a cooling cot. This is a vital piece of equipment, in order for families to spend more time with their babies, after they have passed away. We decided to fundraise for this in Florrie's memory on what would have been her second birthday. We were able to raise all of the funds and the RLI were provided with a cooling cot along with Florrie's plaque attached, through Abigail's Footsteps. We are so proud of Florrie's Legacy."

In March last year, the family welcomed their "rainbow baby" Freddie. The 10-month-old bundle of joy is thriving and last summer Jake and Emma decided to move back to Morecambe, in order to be closer to their families after such a challenging few years.

The couple, who find comfort in fundraising, are hoping to raise as much as possible to mark Florrie's third birthday.

"This year, being back in our home town and Covid regulations allowing, we wanted to go a little bigger! Florrie's Family Fun Day is open to the public and will be held at St Christopher's Church Hall, in Morecambe, on Saturday, January 29th, from 1pm. There will be lots of fun activities, including a bouncy castle and soft play provided by R. Leisure Hire Ltd, children's tombola, hoop toss, Guess the name of the teddy and many more. In addition, a nearly new sale with many pre-loved baby and children's items, a cake sale as well as refreshments will be served, with a selection of home baked treats on offer."

Emma went onto say: "There will be a small charge for taking part in activities, games and refreshments, ranging from 50p-£2 in order to help us raise as much money as possible for the three charities. We have set ourselves a target of raising £2,000. We are also being joined by the lovely Paige's Paints, for those who love face painting! Face painting will be £5 and Paige's Paints will be making a donation to the fundraiser also! The fantastic Hartbeeps, who will be putting on some fabulous entertainment for the children from 2pm at no extra charge."

Other attractions include a raffle with 30 amazing prizes which include two VIP tickets to a Manchester City game, family voucher for Windermere Lake Cruises, an overnight stay for four people and a meal in Manchester, and plenty of vouchers thanks to the generosity of local businesses.

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community and businesses. There really is a fantastic community spirit in Morecambe and Lancaster. We couldn't begin to make this fundraiser happen without the support of the local community and our amazing family and friends."