A Farewell HUG to our Charity of the Year

We’ve seen some big changes to the way we work throughout 2021, from turning our living rooms into dedicated office spaces to elbow bumping instead of shaking hands.

But one thing that remains unchanged is the dedicated pro bono marketing, PR, and social media support we’ve provided to our charity of the year, Help Us Grieve (HUG).

Newark-based HUG was established in 2017 by mum Amy Everatt after she lost three babies at different gestation periods. Leaving hospital after each loss, she discovered there was little emotional support available and found it difficult to talk about what she had been through physically and emotionally.

She and her husband Oliver set up a JustGiving page to raise money to start Help Us Grieve. Now they have a website and an app to signpost people to help and support after baby loss.

Although HUG has not been able to run fundraising events this year owing to Covid-19, their support for those in need has been delivered in other ways. Amy has been running online grief recovery counselling sessions, taking part in Notts Care to Share podcasts with former mental health nurse and clinical hypnotherapist Juliette Quincey, and expanding the website’s library of stories where families can contribute their baby loss experiences to encourage open discussion and honour their children. HUG also continued online chat groups and hosted their HUG Singers group meetings virtually, as well as offering phone call contact sessions. We’ve been able to promote and support all of this through news releases, social media and website updates.

Currently, HUG’s most recognised ambassador is Channel 4 and Amazon Prime TV chef Kwoklyn Wan. He has been working with HUG to launch a comfort food cookbook focused on feel-good food for positive mental wellbeing, with all profits going directly to HUG’s services.

Shooting Star had the pleasure of launching a fantastic social media competition for the public to submit their favourite recipes and have a chance of seeing them published in the book, which is being released in time for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2022. We had some delicious entries, and Kwoklyn chose five winning recipes in total. We even submitted some tasty ideas ourselves thanks to Emma and Maz!

We also managed to achieve some great coverage for HUG in local and national media, all of which have been instrumental in raising HUG’s profile. Amy has been on BBC Radio Nottingham for the Loose Ladies programme and to discuss the recipe competition, she spoke to The Sun about their baby loss awareness campaign, and she even had her story published in Woman magazine for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2021.

Shooting Star has helped to grow HUG’s social media profiles through targeted weekly content plans, establishing a strong digital presence among other high-profile baby loss charities such as Sands, Tommy’s and the Miscarriage Association. We designed and published a baby loss awareness poster for HUG’s hospital packs given to families after the loss of a child, and also secured a UK listing for HUG’s services via a Stillborn Dads network in the Netherlands!

Amy said: “The support from Shooting Star was perfectly timed for HUG as the pandemic threw us all into a wave of obstacles and panic.

“With their help we have managed to keep going, increase our support to families and grow significantly and we couldn’t be more grateful. A huge thank you to everyone at Shooting Star for being incredible with HUG. There is no way we’d have managed it alone through the most testing times all round. What a fantastic team!”

It has been an honour to work with Amy and HUG to help them change the miscarriage story and break the silence surrounding baby loss. We wish them every success for the future and hope to hear from them over the coming years.

Watch this space for news about how you can apply for your charity or good cause to be chosen as our Charity of the Year for 2022!