Cherished Gowns

Posted on the 6th June 2019

I resigned from work in 2015 after having been living with MS and Chronic Fatigue. My life totally changed when I was diagnosed. Before that I was a busy working woman and about to spend time with my grandson. Suddenly I could do very little in a day. As I was faced with you “You can’t do this.” I looked around to find something that I could do.

I started with Cherished Gowns in 2017 and it was such a blessing because it combined something I loved doing, sewing, with a really good cause. Each time I complete a gown I get a thrill because I have achieved something.

Trisha working on a gown for the charity

I have to manage my time and energy so I only do a little bit and then rest but I am fortunate in having a room dedicated for this, so I can leave it and return to it when I feel well enough.

As volunteers we are provided with set patterns to work from that were researched with bereaved parents and midwives, and have a mentor team to support with the work

I really like having the prescribed patterns because designing anything can cause me to panic. You are also working with lovely fabrics from the wedding dresses.

My first child was stillborn, so I understand how difficult this time is. Nothing was offered to grieving parents 38 years ago, so this is a good way forward. The packs, which are sent out to hospitals, funderal directors and parents directly, are wonderful. They contain a gown, nappy, hat, booties and a blanket and I take great pleasure in knowing that I can do my bit to help.

Volunteering for Cherished Gowns has given me a purpose again. The other ladies in the group are very encouraging and great fun, so I have also gained some new friends.

Trisha Tilly, Volunteer, Cherished Gowns.

Trisha (L) and other volunteers at a Cherished Gowns meet-up

After creating a gown for a local bereaved parent from her own wedding dress I founded Cherished Gowns in September 2014. I had identified a need for the service locally and the charity grew very quickly thanks to the kindness and generosity of our volunteers.

Within 18 months we had a team of roughly 700 volunteers who were creating items of clothing for UK hospitals.

Now, almost five years on from when I first started we have over 1000 volunteer seamstresses and knitters and we supply every UK hospital and funeral director.

I am incredibly proud of the whole charity and the volunteers that make it so successful and enable us to help bereaved parents at the hardest time in their lives.

Megan McKay

Founder, Cherished Gowns

Megan founded the charity in September 2014 and has managed the day to day running of the charity since

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