Newbridge M&S staff support local Kildare bereavement service in memory of baby Leah

Supporting colleague who lost a baby to SIDS

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge M&S staff support local Kildare bereavement service in memory of baby Leah

The team at M&S in Newbridge

Staff from M&S Newbridge have pledged their support to FirstLight, a voluntary organisation that provides a bereavement support service to parents, families, professionals and communities who experience the sudden loss of a child or young adult.

The team chose the charity following their colleague Debbie Cronley tragically losing her daughter Leah to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) earlier this year, when she was aged just four and a half months.

A 10-strong team from M&S Newbridge redecorated the counselling rooms in FirstLight Newbridge support centre.

They are also midway through a series of in-store fundraising activities for the organisation and have so far raised an outstanding €3,000.

Niamh O’Loughlin, Store Manager said: “We were all so deeply saddened when Debbie lost her baby daughter. Witnessing one of our own colleagues experiencing such an awful tragedy, really brought home to us how important these support facilities are to our community.

“We hope we have helped to create a warm and welcoming space for people in need of FirstLight’s help and support.”

Debbie said: “I am overwhelmed with the support I have received from my colleagues at M&S and I am so pleased they have chosen to support FirstLight with their volunteer hours and choose it as Charity of the Year. I’m keen to do anything I can to help raise the awareness of this important organisation and the invaluable work it does for bereaved families.”

Ger O’Brien, Clinical Director at FirstLight said: ““We would like to thank the staff from Marks & Spencer Newbridge for choosing to pledge their volunteer hours to helps us with this project.

“Fundraising and volunteering is essential to ensure we can deliver and evolve our services, thus enabling us to make a tremendous difference to the lives of the people we support following the devastating loss of their child.”

Nationwide, employees in every M&S store have joined their colleagues in Newbridge by helping to transform local projects that make a real difference.

Make it Matter is part of the recently launched M&S campaign ‘#SpenditWell’, which is about inspiring people to make every moment special by focusing on the experiences, people and things that really matter in life.