Not one of us had ever had any experience in setting up a charity let alone how to run one. We went into it totally unaware of everything it takes to start up and sustain a charitable organisation. Naively we thought we would be able to complete a few forms and answer a few questions and that would be it - A charity.
We can look back now and laugh at what we imagined it would be.
It is definitely not an easy thing to do and it causes lots of headaches, sleepless nights and even some tears but I would not go back and change any of it. We have all changed throughout the last 4 and a half years and I feel it has definitely been for the better. Despite all the difficulties encountered we have not given up, in fact we have become more determined and stubborn.
Our knowledge and understanding of how the Nhs works and how difficult it is to make a change has grown immensely. Through our stubbornness and constant questioning we have managed to get ourselves in on many different important National Health Service meetings. Initially we found them very daunting and often felt confused by all the jargon used but we were never deterred. We would go away and do our own research to make sure we totally understood what was being discussed.
Now we go along to these meetings feeling like equals, we are confident in our ability to get over our concerns and questions.
Now we work alongside many health professionals and have become work colleagues. We work in collaboration with several departments to ensure that families do not slip through the net and are given the support they need. We have even been asked for our input on leaflets that are given out from the hospitals. This really shows to me what a huge step we have made and what a huge impact we are now having.
We often get told by friends of the families or the families themselves that we support of the difference we are making and how the support we have given has enabled them/their friends to keep going. It is when we hear things like that that we realise what a massive ripple Charlie has made in the provision of bereavement support.
Initially everyone involved with the charity was from the family but over the years this has changed.
There are now more and more people wanting to become involved with the work we do and several have now come on board as trustees. Some have started out as families we were supporting and have made the decision that they too wanted to help other bereaved families at the darkest points in their lives. These people are amazing and have helped us in so many ways.
The charity has almost become like an extended family.
We are a group of people that have come together in a group, and it is a group that no one ever wants to be a part of but once you are in it your life changes forever. The families we have helped or are supporting come from all walks of life but we all have one thing in common - GRIEF.
Everyone who comes along all have their own area of expertise they bring to the table. Some are amazing fundraisers, others are great at getting companies to donate goods or services but one thing we all have in common is the passion to see a change in the provision of bereavement support after the loss of a baby or child.
2017 has been an awesome year for us so far and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down. This shows us how much a need there is for charity like ours. We hope you stay with us as we continue to move forward getting bigger and bigger.
Charlie Arthur Curtis inspired the charity and his name and story will continue to be spread across the country and the world.
What an amazing achievement and legacy for someone so young.
Charlie will always be a very special little boy to us but he has also become someone that is special to so many more.