Baby Zayn’s gift keeps on giving

Zayn's Gift patrons Yas Nawaz and Clare Howell. (s)
Zayn's Gift patrons Yas Nawaz and Clare Howell. (s)

Fundraising for a charity started by a Clitheroe family after the tragic loss of their baby boy is gaining rapid momentum.

Zayn’s Gift was started by parents Yas Nawaz and Clare Howell after the tragic stillbirth of their son Zayn saw them looking for a way to help other families who find themselves in a similar position.

Shelley Smith from Ooh La La who is raising money for Zayn's Gift throughout October. (s)

Shelley Smith from Ooh La La who is raising money for Zayn's Gift throughout October. (s)

They quickly set about trying to raise the funds required to buy the much-needed specialist equipment needed following a still birth, such as cold cots, to enable families to spend precious time with their baby. They also pledged to try to generally assist grieving parents and families and contribute towards more research into still births.

The couple are also looking at ways to raise awareness of Group B Strep, a normal occurring bacterial infection which around 25% of women carry without symptoms. Usually harmless, it can be passed from mother to her baby at birth. For babies who develop the infection, it can be life threatening – it’s the most common cause of bacterial infection in newborn babies (usually septicaemia or pneumonia) and of meningitis in babies under three months, yet it is preventable.

Zayn’s mum Clare commented: “Finding out whether a mum is carrying Group B Strep late in pregnancy is safe and easy yet in the UK pregnant women are not routinely offered the test. If a mum knows she is a carrier of Group B Strep it means preventative action (usually intravenous antibiotics) can be given to minimise the chance if her newborn baby developing it.

“Since losing my baby boy, I have discovered that I am a carrier of Group B Strep. Perhaps if I had been made aware during pregnancy, my baby would still be here.”

The idea of Zayn’s Gift is that family and friends participate in fundraising activities and personal challenges in memory of Zayn. The family set themselves an initial target of £10,000, which they are now only £900 away from achieving.

To assist in the fundraising efforts, Shelley Smith, co-owner of Ooh La La beauty salon in Clitheroe has offered to donate all monies received for eyebrow tinting and waxing throughout October.

Clare continued: “We are surprised every day by the generosity and support from our friends and the community. It really gives us a boost and its heartwarming to know our little baby boy Zayn has made his mark and his legacy will live on to help others. We are so grateful to Shelley for her offer to help and it will really boost the fundraising efforts.”

l For more information on events, or to donate, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/zaynsgift. To sign a petition to make Group B Strep tests available to all pregnant women visit: www.gbss.org.uk