Petals’ Harlow counsellor Bev, with bereaved father Liam

Petals is delighted to announce that we have recently launched two counselling services in partnership with Watford General Hospital in Watford and Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Petals counsellors are all trained specialists who provide a safe space to guide parents through the grief and trauma of their devastating experience to a place of reconciliation and hope for the future.

Liam Preston, a bereaved father who benefitted from the service at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow along with his wife Daria, said, “It puts an enormous strain on you when you lose a child. Being able to talk through it with someone who understands and has experience of dealing with other couples helps you so much to move through the grief. As a father you grieve in a very different way, and it’s hard for people to understand that grief moves in different cycles. It meant that when we left the sessions, we felt more at ease with each other and could refer back to things we’d worked through. I 100% believe Petals kept our relationship going.”

The Hertfordshire and West Essex Local Maternity & Neonatal System (LMNS) agreed to fund an expansion to two new hospital sites, at Watford General and Lister.

Petals CEO Karen Burgess added, “Petals have delivered counselling services at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow since 2015, which have been funded through charitable donations. Funding has now been provided in 2021 by the Hertfordshire and West Essex LMNS to continue the service at PAHT and also include the Watford General and Lister Hospitals. This is a really important step forward in the growth of our counselling service, but more importantly, this means that more couples who suffer the devastation of the loss of a pregnancy or a baby will now have access to our free specialist counselling support to help them put their lives back together again. We are very grateful for this funding.”