Couple climb Mount Snowdon for Burnley's Women and Newborn Centre in memory of baby daughter

Ashley, Grace and their daughter Everley at the summit of Mount Snowdon.
Ashley, Grace and their daughter Everley at the summit of Mount Snowdon.

A couple whose precious baby was born sleeping have climbed the highest peak in Wales to raise money for Burnley General Hospital's Women and Newborn Centre.


Grace and Ashley Banham, and their daughter Everly, climbed Mount Snowdon to raise funds for a donation of storybooks for parents to read to their babies at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre.

Grace and Ashley Banham, and their daughter Everly, with hospital staff

Grace and Ashley Banham, and their daughter Everly, with hospital staff

The couple made the donation to ELHT&Me, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s charity, for the Bereavement Suites and the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the centre in memory of their first daughter, Violet Esme, who was born sleeping on October 28th 2017.

“For parents, it’s really important to be able to bond with their babies in the short space of time they have”, said Grace.

“Being given this option gives them that chance to read and bond with them whilst staying in the bereavement suites and on NICU. Earlier this year we welcomed our rainbow baby into the world, Everly, who spent some time in NICU before being allowed home.

"Giving birth at the same place where Violet was born was an emotional experience, but the support we received from our consultant, midwives, nurses and our bereavement midwife, made us want to say a big thank you by continuing to support them, and parents who had been through a similar experience to us.”

The summit of Snowdon

The summit of Snowdon

The family climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085m, and reached the summit in just over two hours, to raise funds for the books.

At the peak of Mount Snowdon, Grace and Ashley displayed a banner with almost 210 names of stillbirth babies, submitted by parents through the family’s “Colours of a Rainbow” social media channels.

This isn’t the first donation the couple have made to ELHT&Me, last year they walked the Old Man of Coniston and raised almost £2,000 throughout the year to buy new cameras for the Bereavement Suites.

Denise Gee, fund-raising manager at ELHT&Me, said: “We are really grateful to Grace and Ashley for their thoughtful donation to the Women and Newborn Centre, and we’re proud of their amazing achievement of climbing Mount Snowdon as a family.

“These books will make a big difference to parents bonding with their baby – a perfect example of how a charitable gesture can help us go above and beyond standard NHS funding for our family care services.

“I would encourage anyone who would like to raise funds for the hospital, or to make a donation, to please contact the fund-raising team by visiting our website – www.elht.nhs.uk/charity. We can support your efforts and give you guidance on what’s really needed within our services across East Lancashire.”