21 March, 2008

bonnie babes decision not so bonnie

Hi all

It's not every day that I get political on this blog (actually, I doubt I have done this before!), but today, well, I just I have to.

Last year, the Howard government (I have to admit, definitely not my favourite) promised Bonnie Babes a significant grant to support the amazing work they do. The Rudd government has recently announced that it will not support this promise, and has withdrawn the grant funds.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Bonnie Babes, the Bonnie Babes Foundation is a non government funded, non-profit, volunteer based charity. It provides:
  • 24 hour, 7 day per week counselling for families that have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or prematurity.
  • Medical equipment to hospitals for premature babies.
  • Support for vital medical research projects into pregnancy loss and complications after birth.
  • Support for infertility issues, children born with abnormalities and childhood illnesses.
Here is a little note from one of the amazing team in at Bonnie Babes:

Bonnie Babes has never received government funding in its 14 years of existence. The services are now in overload as they have expanded enormously and a toll free number, the provision for grief books to be sent to hospitals, more counsellors being trained is all desperately needed. All our counsellors are volunteers and we counsel families 24 hours per day 7 days per week. We printed a book called "A Dads story" 5 years ago and our male grief counselling has almost doubled since that time. We see women every day who are absolutely devastated by the loss of their babies and reach out to our counsellors for support. We visit hospitals and sit in neonatal areas with familles who have prematurely born babies struggling for life in intensive care.

We are just inundated with familles who need our help and its the first time the government have ever come to the aid of the charity and now the Rudd government have decided not to honour the previous governments promise.

Its just shattering to everyone at Bonnie Babes as we struggle to continue to provide all our services.

So, what can we do?

There are 50,000 bubs every year in Australia who are lost to miscarriage or stillbirth. That is a lot of families who have been affected, who could change the views of the fundholders in government.

The team at Bonnie Babes are asking everyone who is concerned about this lack of support by the government, for a key organisation which has been supporting families in crisis, to write to three government and local MPs, local papers and local Mayor.

You can find a contact list for federal MPs

Additionally, my friend in the team was thrilled to hear about the potential of spreading the message via blogland.

Let me know if you intend to mention in this in your blog or take action to support this amazing organisation. That's it for my political two cents.

Happy Easter everyone x


Lonie said...

THANK YOU. No one ever seems to want to talk about babies dying but it is actually still a surprisingly common occurrence. And because it is not spoken about, bereaved parents find that poorly funded organisations like Bonnie Babies are their only source of support. We need raised public awareness, we need more paid counsellors, we need more information available for parents in hospitals, and we need more research to help save our babies - the cause of death is still unknown for around half of all stillbirths.

BettyBo said...

I would like to say a very big thank you to the Bonnie Babes Foundation. Everyone I speak to hopes this worthy charity finally gets recognised and is given government funding. Reading about the volunteer based charity's 14 year struggle without any funding is heartbreaking as I know first hand about their wonderful work. The charity helped us through our three miscarriages and when our son was stillborn. Two of my friends have also been helped by Bonnie Babes. I know they are involved in medical research projects to decrease the one in four pregnancies ending in a loss. I rang for counselling on their 24/7 lines and received counselling straight away.

Come on Rudd government you fund something like a tree plaque, help fund an organisation that helps families who have lost a baby. Don't let Australian families suffer from cutbacks. I am not usually a person to get involved in politics but I think we should all write to our local MP's to help this charity.

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