Denny woman who lost stillborn son raises £33,000 for Forth Valley Sands volunteers

Kellie Cunningham (front and centre) hands over the cheque for �33,000 to the team of Forth Valley Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths volunteers
Kellie Cunningham (front and centre) hands over the cheque for �33,000 to the team of Forth Valley Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths volunteers

A Denny woman has raised a staggering £33,000 for a team of volunteers who helped her through the anguish of her son’s stillbirth.

Earlier this year, Kellie Cunningham (32) organised her own community fun run as a way of giving back to the Forth Valley Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths (Sands) service as its members had stood by her following the loss of her son, Henry, last May to group B strep.

Determined to demonstrate just how much she appreciated the support of the volunteers — who are also bereaved parents — in the wake of such an agonising experience, Kellie organised the 5k event in Falkirk’s Callendar Park in May with the help of her sister, Debbie.

Initially, the Falkirk Herald told how Kellie’s fun run had generated £21,000 for the charity.

However, after totting up all of the donations, she is now delighted to confirm the final total has risen by a further £12,000.

The success of the community gathering — which saw dozens of runners turn out in bright colours — left Kellie eager to carry on fundraising and she is already planning to host a similar event next year on May 6.

Kellie said: “I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of money and also awareness the run made. My aim was to make Henry proud.

“I achieved so much more than that when I saw everyone gathered together in the park. Each parent standing there to honour their own child and each one of us mums and dads surrounded by our families and friends was more than I could ever have hoped for.”

Prior to the fun run, Kellie revealed she would have struggled to cope with the loss of her baby boy had it not been for the support of the Sands volunteers.

Monthly Sands meet-ups at Forth Valley Spiritual Centre — along with information packs containing memory boxes and hand and footprint kits — have been crucial in helping Kellie come to terms with her son’s death.

She added: “The meetings have personally helped me have someone to share my feelings with in a safe, non-judgemental environment.”

Anyone affected by bereavement can attend one of Sands’ meetings at Forth Valley Spiritual Centre on the second Wednesday of each month, from 7.30-9.30pm.

Visit www.forthvalleysands.org.uk or call 0845 834 0230 for more information.