Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

“I COULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE STATISTICS, EMPLOYERS NEED TO DO THE RIGHT THING”, SAYS TV LEGEND

TV presenter Cheryl Baker has thrown her support behind a campaign aiming to get employers to improve policies around baby loss.

The Bucks Fizz star, who is an ambassador for the charity Abigail’s Footsteps, is urging businesses to enact George’s Law, which provides those who lose a child with the right to statutory leave.

Cheryl, who recently told how nearly losing one of her own children inspires her work in this area, showed her support by meeting up with the solicitor behind the crusade.

After meeting Keeley Lengthorn at the Bexleyheath Office of Taylor Rose MW Solicitors, Cheryl, 69, said: “I’m supporting George’s Law and would urge employers to do the right thing by backing it too. It’s so important that those who suffer the loss of a child get the support and care they need.”

Cheryl, is vice president of Medway-based charity, Abigail’s Footsteps, which was founded by patrons David and Jo Ward whose daughter Abigail was stillborn at 41 weeks gestation.

Earlier this month Cheryl explained why the issue was so important to her.

“When I gave birth to my twin daughters one of them wasn’t breathing,” she explained. “Had there not been a special care baby unit there she may not have survived. It just touched me. I could have been David and Jo. I could have been one of the statistics.”

Cheryl’s show of support is the latest boost in an ongoing campaign which Keeley Lengthorn is embarking on.

She began her crusade to enact  law change after she lost her son George in March 2022, and has been travelling the country giving talks on why change is needed.

Speaking earlier this month, to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week, Keeley said the campaign for George’s Law had taken on new life, even if proposed legislation in the House of Commons has not come to fruition.

She said: ‘George’s Law has stalled in parliament but with many firms now voluntarily adopting their own policies for statutory leave in the case of baby-loss, there is progress being made with further efforts to drive it up the legislative agenda. And I plan to push even harder in the coming weeks and months to make the law a reality.’

Keeley has been tirelessly travelling the UK giving talks on why change is needed

Lengthorn, a partner at southeast firm Taylor Rose MW, wants parents who lose a baby under 24 weeks to have statutory entitlement to three days’ paid leave from work. She has said before that miscarriage is not an illness but for employment purposes it is considered as ‘sick leave’ if parents take time off.

Lengthorn spoke at the inaugural Family Law Conference in Manchester last month and shared her story of enduring the loss of a child.

‘It was a privilege to speak at this event and to share the story behind George’s Law,’ she added. ‘Many people told me how overwhelmed they were to learn about the campaign.

‘Now I really hope those in attendance will now support us moving forward to bring George’s Law to fruition.’

Keeley has also helped to devise a new online training programme with company “Briefed” which employers can use to learn more about how to support staff experiencing baby loss.

 

By Editor