Working with hospitals

Information for Professionals

Keeping the flame alive

Hospitals working with Aching Arms

Basildon University Hospital
Birmingham Women’s Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax
Cardiff and Vale University Hospital
Chesterfield Royal Hospital
City Hospital, Birmingham
Colchester General Hospital
Darrent Valley Hospital, Kent
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby
Doncaster Royal Infirmary
East Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre
Furness General Hospital
George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton
Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Hereford County Hospital
Hillingdon Hospital
Homerton University Hospital, East London
Horton Hospital, Oxfordshire
Hull Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Jessops Wing and Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Kettering General Hospital
Kingsmill Hospital, Sutton in Ashfield
Kingston Hospital, Kingston upon Thames
Leeds Teaching Hospital
Leighton Hospital, Crewe
Little Havens Hospice, Essex
Liverpool Women’s Hospital
Manor Hospital, Walsall
Medway Maritime Hospital, Kent
Newham University Hospital, East London
North Manchester General Hospital
North Middlesex Hospital, Enfield
Nottingham City Hospital
Peterborough City Hospital
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston
Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton
Queens Hospital, Romford
Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham
Rosie Hospital, Cambridge
Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan

Royal Bolton Hospital
Royal Derby Hospital GAU
Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Royal London Hospital
Royal Oldham Hospital
Royal Preston Hospital incorporating Chorley and South Ribble Hospital
Royal Stoke University Hospital
Royal Surrey Hospital
Scunthorpe General Hospital
Southend University Hospital
St George’s Hospital, London
St Peter’s Hospital, Surrey
St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester
St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
University College Hospital, London
University Hospital Coventry
West Middlesex University Hospital, Queen Mary Maternity Unit
Whipps Cross University Hospital, East London

How we work

Our key aims at Aching Arms include bringing comfort to families who have sadly lost their baby and advancing education among health professionals about baby loss. Currently we work with more than 50 hospitals across the UK offering our free teddy bear donation scheme.

We ask midwives to give a bear to a family who has been bereaved as a way of offering comfort and letting that family know they are not alone.

The scheme is completely free of charge for hospitals. The bears are delivered to you and all we ask is that your staff offer those whose baby has died the opportunity to take home a bear along with supporting literature, which includes links to larger charities that families can access for support.

We provide guidance on how midwives could offer the bears and we also offer a specific awareness training course, again at no cost to the hospital. Training packages are tailor-made to accommodate your needs, whether you require a trustee to deliver the training session on a one-to-one basis or to a group of health professionals.

Many hospitals already have schemes such as memory boxes and the Aching Arms scheme is adaptable enough to run alongside such programmes as our bears are a different way of offering comfort to bereaved families.

For more information about the bear scheme, if you want your hospital to get involved or want to learn more about our awareness training, please email info@achingarms.co.uk or telephone 07876 504042.

You may also find our Advice for Midwives document useful, click here to download the PDF

Benefits to giving an Aching Arms bear:

You are acknowledging the life of their baby and recognising the significance of their loss in a society that prefers not to talk about it

You know your patient has left with valuable information on where to get immediate help

You are providing a comforter that can be held by the mother in times of distress

The value of receiving a bear

We know the value of receiving a bear: that it provides comfort and that by us extending the hand of friendship the bereaved family knows they are not alone.

Those who received a bear have told us:

“I had a straight forward, uncomplicated pregnancy but at 41 weeks pregnant I had an acute placental abruption and my daughter was born in a stressful, dangerous and emergency situation. Her battle was hard for such a little baby, she weighed a healthy 8lb 5oz but within 6 hours she had died.

This was the worst thing I have ever been through, the pain physically and emotionally of a real breaking heart, the fear of what the next few hours/days had in store for me, I just wanted my baby. I somehow made it through the next few days and weeks and I remember how my arms hurt, I remember crying to my Mum that my arms hurt, real pain, I didn’t know what to do with them all I wanted to do was hold and nurture my beautiful, perfect baby girl.

I joined Twitter and a lady on there contacted me and said she wanted to help my aching arms and send me a bear for comfort. My bear arrived within a few days. A beautiful bear, in memory of baby Hope. I immediately held it tight, to know in my head that this came from someone who knew how I felt, who knew I needed something in my arms. It’s not just a bear it’s like someone walking up to you and holding your hand through your darkest days. I treasure my bear Hope, it brings a kind of comfort that no one else can.”

“We found great comfort in the bear received via your charity, particularly our 11 year old daughter, it gave her some focus.”

“I wanted to let you know that the bears you sent arrived safely and are very much appreciated. We were very touched by the gesture. This is different to any other bears we have due to the closeness of the association with my boys. We were truly grateful for your kind gesture and the understanding that accompanied it.”

“I really can’t thank you enough, I received my bear today it’s beautiful and I looked at it last night and it felt like it was looking back at me with life behind the eyes :) I already have comfort xx”

“Losing a child takes you to the darkest place, when we received our bear it gave me something to cuddle and hold close. It let me know I wasn’t alone.”

“When our midwife told us about the Aching Arms bears and explained how it works we just loved it, such a beautiful and simple idea that brings so much comfort. We received our bear and read its name; we cried together and said it made us feel like our daughter would have a friend in heaven to meet her. It has been a comfort to me since we came home without out little girl. Thank you so very much for your amazing work.”

“I ordered a bear directly from Aching Arms after being told about the charity from another grieving mother. When my little bear arrived, I just sat and held it and cried. When I am feeling sad or having a particularly painful day, all I have to do is pick up that little bear and hold it. It doesn’t take away the pain of losing Jacob, nothing ever will, but there is a soothing and comfort from holding it. It sadly reminds us that we are not alone on this painful and heart breaking journey.”

“My aching arms bear arrived three weeks after the loss of our son. It arrived on a day that I was alone, and feeling lonely, (nobody warns you about the loneliness of bereavement). One of the worst things about leaving hospital without your baby is the emptiness of your arms. The bear can never replace that baby, but gives you temporary release from the aching and empty arms, and the loneliness as you know it has come with love from another bereaved mummy.”