Dress Claire! Bereaved mother launches bold donation drive for EACH
A bereaved mother has launched a bold campaign to support the charity which helped her following the devastating loss of her son.
Claire Wright and husband Bob were given the shattering news in February 2012 that their 14-month-old son Jacob had a genetic disorder called mitochondrial disease.
There was no treatment or cure and Jacob died a few months later on April 20, aged 16 months.
After dying and until his funeral, Jacob stayed at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) base in Milton, just north of Cambridge.
It allowed Claire and Bob to hold and kiss him, wash and dress him, and be his parents until the very end.
After Jacob had gone, EACH provided counselling and opportunities to remember him at annual memory days.
Claire credits the strength she has now to that support.
As the seventh anniversary of Jacob's death has just passed, the 45-year-old has launched the bold 'Dress Claire' campaign to drive donations at the 37 EACH shops, including 13 in Suffolk.
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Lifesize cardboard cutouts of a naked Claire, partially hidden behind a board, will greet customers at the charity's shops over the next two weeks.
Claire, from Sutton, near Ely, who is also mum to Charlotte, two, said: “Jacob stayed at EACH until his funeral and we got to be parents until the very end. I cannot imagine having to say goodbye to him any earlier.
“The help of EACH does not end there. EACH provided us with counselling and support through our darkest days, helped us understand our grief and process it the best we can.
“They have given me the strength to be where I am today, they gave me the strength to go on. EACH cannot take the pain away, but they help us to live with it.”
Ian Nicolson, EACH head of retail and trading, said: “The idea for this came from our successful Dress Daisy campaign in 2016. On that occasion we asked people to help dress a naked dummy, called Daisy, in our shop windows.
“We hope Dress Claire will be even more of a boost and we're so thankful to Claire for agreeing to put herself in the spotlight.
“Our portfolio of shops is growing at a phenomenal rate, with nine having opened last year and two already in 2019, meaning we need over 6,000 bags of donations a week to keep them stocked.
“We're in need of women's and men's clothes, as well as bric-a-brac, books, toys, jewellery and more. We care for your donations so that we can care for some 760 children, young people and family members across the region.”
EACH also needs donations of good-quality furniture and can collect free of charge if people are unable to transport it. Call 01842 821620 for more information.
For more information about EACH, visit www.each.org.uk