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The touching reason why post boxes in Nottinghamshire are being covered in woollen hats

People of Nottinghamshire might spot their post boxes wearing hats this week as a charity campaign gets underway.

Nottinghamshire SANDS, supporting people who have experienced baby loss, will be sending out crocheted hats which will include messages and be dedicated in memory of babies.

The hats are also in recognition of families – and the project marks Baby Loss Awareness Week, from Saturday, October 9, to Friday, October 15.

The post box toppers campaign was the idea of Nottinghamshire Sands chair, Maxine Hosking, who’s daughter, Heidi, sadly died at 21 weeks in 2016.

Ms Hosking said: “We wanted to do something special to raise awareness of baby loss this year and the idea of the post box toppers just came to me one night.

“I thought it would allow families a way to remember their lost babies and also help raise awareness for those who don’t know about our work at Sands and those who need to know that they are not alone.

“I had the idea – but I don’t crochet so I got in touch with Claire Lilley at The Artful Buttoner in Kirkby-in-Ashfield who said she would love to be involved and has been working tirelessly with others to create the toppers.”

SANDS is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity and the Nottinghamshire branch supports families all over the county with bereavement services.

Ms Lilley and her team of crafters have been working round the clock for the charity, particularly as the cause is close to her heart.

Claire Lilley and her colleagues at The Artful Buttoner in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have crocheted dozens of post box toppers for Baby Loss Awareness Week
Claire Lilley and her colleagues at The Artful Buttoner in Kirkby-in-Ashfield have crocheted dozens of post box toppers for Baby Loss Awareness Week

She said: “I am so happy to have been involved in this really special campaign.

“Maxine had been in touch with me previously to ask if I would make a rainbow for her daughter as a way for the new baby and the family to remember the daughter they lost. I was very happy to help.

“I lost my son, Ethan, 24 years ago – even though the pregnancy went full term. So this is something that matters to me.

“When Maxine asked me and the ladies at the shop to be involved with the toppers we gladly accepted.

“Myself and ladies in the local community have made about 16 toppers to help remember special babies and they will be placed in various places around Nottinghamshire.

“Some of the toppers will be placed by families who have lost babies themselves and other people have done it to remember friends’ babies.”

Chair of Nottinghamshire SANDS Maxine Hosking, said: “I’m really proud of the huge effort that the Sands community has gone to for this awareness week.

“It’s an incredibly important subject and so many of us have our own stories, so to share them and help each other means a lot.

“The toppers will each have a tag explaining what they’re about and I hope it creates awareness and starts conversations off around baby loss and how it affects people’s lives. Not only that, but the pairs of hearts are an important part of this week, too.

“We would really like anyone who has experienced baby loss, no matter how long ago it was, to come forward for support.

“We would like to help them remember their babies and invite anyone who would like one, to get in touch and ask for a pair of the crocheted hearts – one for you as a parent to keep and one for you to place in a special place or somewhere to help raise awareness.”

To request the hearts email:

For support and information see www.sands.orguk or search Nottinghamshire Sands in Facebook.