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LFC FoundationSupporting Honeysuckle FC for Baby Loss Awareness Week

Honeysuckle FC football team
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As we recognise Baby Loss Awareness Week, we wanted to raise awareness of our partnership with the Honeysuckle Bereavement Service at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

The Foundation teamed up with Liverpool Women’s in December 2022 to create a football team specifically for bereaved dads & men who have experienced baby loss.

Over the past year staff have worked collaboratively to create a biweekly football session for the men. These sessions start off with changing room chats where the men can talk openly about their mental health and their loss while being supported by both the LFC Staff and their peers.

Honeysuckle FC provides a safe environment for men who’ve experienced baby loss, to spend some time enjoying physical activity whilst allowing them to feel that they have the support of not only clinical staff but from their teammates too. An online support chat has been set up where the group can talk, suggest ideas for fundraising, design their new kit and crest amongst general supportive messages and photos.

The partnership has been a real success with 42 of participants now getting together with players travelling from as far as North Wales and Staffordshire to be a part of this special team.

Since inception, the team has gone on from strength to strength – a key moment in the participants week where they can come, play football, and keep the memory of their babies alive.

The team have even taken part in a recent charity match against LFC Foundation, Liverpool Homeless and Amazon, where funds directly raised by the local Amazon distribution centre in Kirkby were donated to the three organisations. The team were able to see their new kit for the first time, where their babies' names and dates of birth were printed on the back, an emotional moment for them all to see.

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, said, “We are extremely proud to be partnering with LFC Foundation on this amazing project.”

“Everyone in Liverpool and the surrounding area knows more than most, how powerful football can be in helping to cope during challenging times and a baby bereavement is the most difficult period in anyone’s life.”

“Our Honeysuckle Bereavement Team do amazing work and it is fantastic to see the support for men and dads being provided here, bringing everyone together for a common purpose and for mutual support.”

The team have been followed throughout the year by videographer Alexander Williams, who has captured everything from their first meeting, through to them seeing them take part in their first football tournament with their new kits.

You can watch the full video here

If you’ve been affected by baby loss and are interested in joining the group, please contact:

Mark Henderson - Mental Health Coordinator - mark.henderson@liverpoolfc.com or

Marie Kelleher - bereavement midwife - marie.kelleher@lwh.nhs.uk

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