Mum runs to better bereavement care A Halesowen mum has crossed the finish line after challenging herself to take on a 10k run and raising more than £500 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity. Nikki Walmsley, 34, had signed up to take on the Birmingham 10k but when it was cancelled she still laced up her trainers to run the same distance around her local area, keeping her promise to go the distance for the charity’s £3.5million Woodland House Appeal to bring a new, standalone bereavement centre to Birmingham Women’s Hospital. It’s a cause that is close to Nikki’s heart after her first child Charlie was sadly stillborn at Birmingham Women’s Hospital in June 2012. Nikki knows only too well how instrumental Woodland House will be in helping bereaved families in their grieving process. At 41 weeks and 4 days into a perfect pregnancy, Nikki woke up one morning and realised she hadn’t felt her baby move during the night. Pushing the feelings of dread to be back of her mind, Nikki and her husband rushed to Birmingham Women’s Hospital but sadly their unborn baby boy had passed away. Nikki felt numb as she gave birth to her sleeping baby, Charlie, in the hospital’s current bereavement suite. Although grateful of the privacy of the room, Nikki couldn’t wait to leave the small space but being located on the hospital’s delivery ward she knew every step outside of that room would remind her of the baby she wouldn’t be taking home. Nikki said: “When Charlie was born sleeping the devastation was just indescribable and I leant heavily on the hospital’s fantastic bereavement team for support and counselling. They helped me through the worst time of my life so I wanted to do something to really show my appreciation. “You will never be able to erase any of those awful memories but I know that if I could have had my counselling in a place like Woodland House, rather than in the same place I had to say goodbye to Charlie, it would have helped me in my grieving process.” Nikki has since gone on to have her rainbow baby and Charlie’s brother, Harry, who is now six-years-old. Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “Every year more than 2,000 women and families are given heartbreaking and life-changing news at our hospital, and sadly, they currently take place in rooms and locations that don’t reflect the significance of a family’s loss. As well as creating a safe and serene space for families to spend time together, Woodland House will also provide spacious rooms where parents can join us for counselling and aftercare, without having to enter the hospital at all. The fantastic amount Nikki has raised for the appeal brings us a step closer to making our dream a reality.” You can find out more about the Woodland House Appeal and make a donation here.