Hastings bereaved mother nominated for Pride of Britain award

Dawne Braine, centre, with Suz Brooks and Jayne Gibbins, members of her committee SUS-171209-130332001
Dawne Braine, centre, with Suz Brooks and Jayne Gibbins, members of her committee SUS-171209-130332001

A bereaved mother who lost her baby shortly after he was born has been shortlisted for a Pride of Britain award for her work in helping other similar families.

Dawne Braine, the lead befriender for Hastings and East Sussex Sands, an independent part of stillbirth charity Sands, found out the news on her birthday on September 7.

She said: “I feel absolutely overwhelmed after finding out. I’ve spent the last week or so in shock.

“I’m elated and it seems so incredible that I’ve made it this far. I was out having a meal with friends when my phone rang. They left a voice message and everyone I was with was encouraging me to listen to the message.

“I listened to it and it was a message left by ITV. Because I’m part of the Sands group, I thought it was them asking to do a piece on the work of the group so I phoned back.

“I was told I’d been nominated for a Pride of Britain award. It was all very exciting. The following Monday (September 10) I received another phone call to tell be I’d been shortlisted to the final four in the region for the award.

“I’ve been invited to attend the award ceremony next month which will be on primetime TV with five million viewers.”

Dawne’s son George died after his premature birth on May 11, 2011.

Since forming Hastings and East Sussex Sands in October 2015, Dawne has supported more than 150 families.

Dawne and her committee have also been fundraising regularly towards the bereavement suite at the Conquest Hospital’s maternity unit.

Sands is the the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity that provides support to anyone affected by the death of a baby. Its activities include offering support via meetings, telephone and email for bereaved parents and women who are pregnant again or thinking of having another baby.

It also offers training for hospitals and other healthcare providers to ensure bereaved parents receive adequate and appropriate care and support.

Dawne said: “After I lost George seven years ago I realised there was no support in the local area for families so I set about creating a support group. I trained through Sands to become a befriender.”

Visit www.sands.org.uk.