Big step for Florence fund

MIDWIVES from the Royal United Hospital  completed a challenging sponsored walk in support of  a fundraising drive by the family of a baby from Hanham who died at three days old.

Ryan and Ella Palmer’s daughter Florence Rose was born in September 2019 at the RUH in Bath and lost her life at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

While awaiting tests to find the cause of her death, Ryan regularly spent time with their daughter in hospital, singing nursery rhymes and watching films. 

This gave the couple a vision: to create a home-like environment at the RUH where bereaved parents can have time with their child before the funeral. They are working with hospital officials to develop the Florence Rose Room, a pod-like building with a garden situated on the outskirts of the hospital site.

Four years on, the couple are more than three quarters of the way towards their £20,000 target. The pod is in place and now needs equipping, while the garden has to be landscaped. There are also plans for a metal memorial tree.

Tracey Martin, a retired midwife at the RUH and a friend of Ella’s grandma Cath, and Rachel Coleman, a midwife in Trowbridge, undertook a  55-mile sponsored walk  over two days, starting and finishing at the RUH and calling in at birthing centres at Chippenham, Trowbridge, Frome and Paulton. 

“We called it 55 for Florence,” said Tracey. “We started at 6am both days – we did just over 130,000 steps! The fundraising has been amazing – currently at £2,780. We’ve got a few blisters but every step was worth it. Florence will always have a very special place in our hearts.”