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Keepsake box for grieving parents in north east England

'Sweet Dreams' boxes - Pic: Kirsty McGurrell
Image caption Miss McGurrell's charity helps parents across the UK donate keepsake boxes to hospitals

A charity has donated keepsake boxes to the maternity unit at a Tyneside hospital in the hope it will help comfort bereaved parents.

The "sweet dreams" handmade boxes include clay impressions of the baby's hands and feet, a candle and teddies.

Kirsty McGurrell, 22, from Houghton-le-Spring, set up the charity, "4Louis", in memory of her stillborn son.

She helps bereaved parents donate boxes to hospitals across the north east of England and North Yorkshire.

Miss McGurrell said: "I went into hospital expecting to leave with my beautiful newborn baby. Instead all I had was a card with Louis' hand and footprints on.

'Vitally important'

She said: "I realised how vital it is for maternity units to be prepared for this to happen and have items on hand to help parents record the memories of the precious few hours they have with their baby."

Claire Nicol, midwife at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: "Obviously we never want to have to give them out, but in the very sad case when a family loses a baby, the boxes are vitally important.

"They can keep the precious mementos of their baby to be treasured forever."

Since the charity was set up in January, they have made donations to the Wansbeck General, in Northumberland, Sunderland Royal Infirmary, Durham University Hospital, James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, the University Hospital of North Tees and the Friary Hospital, Richmond.

Miss McGurrell's charity has expanded to help parents from across the UK to donate keepsake boxes to hospitals.

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