Vision & Mission

Abigail’s Footsteps is a Medway based baby loss charity, founded by Jo & David Ward in memory of their daughter Abigail Ward who was stillborn at 41 weeks gestation. Abigail was born in 2009 at Medway Maritime Hospital. Abigail’s Footsteps helps parents who have lost a much-loved baby by providing them with bereavement care and support following their loss.  We strive to meet the unfunded gaps that sadly exist in the NHS relating to the baby loss services delivered by our partner NHS Trust Maternity Units.  These services are summarised below into four key headings to provide the context of the Abigail’s Footsteps service offering.

Our vision
To work in partnership with the NHS to improve the bereavement care and support given to parents and families following the loss of a much-loved baby, both in the hospital and once they have returned home.  To raise awareness of the gaps that exist in the provision of bereavement care in today’s NHS. To build upon the excellent foundations forged in the first 13 years of our existence to consolidate and continually improve our current service offering, moving into newer territory in our sector as a key influencer and challenger.

Our mission
To ensure that bereaved parents receive the highest standard of care
, following the death of a much-loved baby.  To provide healthcare professionals with excellent bereavement care training and support.  To provide the right hospital facilities and environment for bereaved parents and families. To provide parents with the right counselling and support. To provide Professional Reflective Occupational Practice to Healthcare Professionals.

Charity Main Aims

1. Welfare and wellness of parents – (Wraparound Care) To ensure that parents receive the best possible care and support following the loss of a much-loved baby, by helping to fill the unfunded bereavement service gaps that exist in maternity care in today’s NHS, where our resources allow.

2. Provision of vital equipment To provide the necessary equipment in each maternity unit to ensure that following baby loss, that baby can be preserved until at least the day after the mother’s discharge from hospital.

3. Bereavement Suites (Location) To work with NHS Trusts (where requested and resources allow) to ensure that bereavement suites are located away from the main maternity ward by making the best use of hospital architecture and layout and to fund sensitively designed delivery rooms and/or bereavement suites located away from maternity wards in each on Britain’s maternity units. Our gold standard is the facility called ‘Abigail’s Place’ at Medway Maritime Hospital which the CQC have endorsed as ‘The Blue Print’ for Bereavement Suites.

4. Bereavement Training and Professional Reflective Occupational Practice (PROP) To improve the bereavement training and support that health care professionals and care staff receive, to ensure the highest quality of onward care and support is provided to parents and families following the loss of a much-loved baby.





Our People

Deafening Silence

Annual Review

We would like to keep you updated with latest news about our work and how you can help support us through fundraising & events.

Register for email updates