About Saying Goodbye
The loss of a child at any stage is a traumatic experience, often leaving parents, siblings, family and friends in a dark and lonely place.
The Mariposa Trust is all too aware of the pain and trauma of loss, whether that be during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, and provides a range of comprehensive support options via six divisions, to provide the support people need, at the time they need it most.
The charity also supports anyone who is grieving the fact that they have not been able to have children, for whatever reason that may be.Download the new Mariposa Trust Information Leaflet (PDF)
History of the Charity
In 2012 following the loss of five babies, Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates saw that there was key support missing for people who had experienced baby loss. They decided to launch a service of remembrance at a cathedral, to help people formally acknowledge and remember children that had been lost, which was organised by a newly formed ‘not-for-profit’ division of their company CCEM. This was the birth of ‘Saying Goodbye.’
As soon as the first service was announced, they were inundated with requests for further services and support. Zoe and Andy rose to the challenge, utilising their background in global event management, international marketing and counselling, to plan the first national set of remembrance services, and support those who had requested help. They quickly realised the scale of support that was needed in the UK and internationally, so conversations began about ‘Saying Goodbye’ becoming a stand-alone charity, supported by CCEM.
It was decided to apply to become a charity, and to call it the Mariposa Trust, which means butterfly in Spanish (the butterfly is a commonly used symbol of loss and support). The founders saw that the trust would need to offer people so many more options of support, including support in subsequent pregnancy, thus it was not named ‘Saying Goodbye.’
In March 2013, after a six-month process to become a charity, The Mariposa Trust was officially granted its charitable status. The charity is legally a company registered by guarantee (no. 8241785) in England and Wales, and a charity (no 1151108) registered in England and Wales, though the charity operates across the UK and globally. Additionally, in 2014 the charity registered in the US, as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit under the name ‘Mariposa International’.
Today the charity has six divisions. Saying Goodbye provides support for anyone who has suffered baby loss, at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, whether the loss is recent or historic. The other divisions include ‘GrowingYou’, which supports people who are pregnant following the loss of a baby; ‘Holding Hope’, which provides information to those having fertility issues; ‘Waiting for You’, which walks alongside people going through the adoption process; and ‘Love in Every Tear,’ which helps guide people who are supporting others through loss. Finally ‘So Cherished’, the newest division, supports people who have had a terminal diagnosis over their baby.
In just 8-years, over 150 ‘Saying Goodbye’ services of remembrance have been held in 6 countries, including the new online services (launched in 2020 during the pandemic.) These have allowed tens of thousands of parents, siblings, family members and friends to have time to formally acknowledge and remember the baby or babies that have been lost, whether the loss be recent or historic. Additionally, the support offered by the charity reaches over 50,000 people each week.
In 2016 the charity became a Stakeholder with the Department of Health, and will use this role to help influence and advise on bereavement care and support for anyone suffering the loss of a baby.
Free for All
The charity looks to provide support to anyone who needs it free from any cost, as well as providing the Saying Goodbye services, which are free to attend.
The charity looks to provide support and services to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby, at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, whether the loss be recent or historic. In addition, it looks to support people through subsequent pregnancies, fertility treatment and adoption.
The Aims of the charity include:
- To create a comprehensive support structure, allowing people to access targeted and appropriate support, at the times they need it most
- To create services of remembrance that allow people to grieve in a supportive environment
- To lobby and campaign for the improvement of care and support for anyone going through loss
- To change the taboo nature of baby loss, allowing for more open discussion, acceptance and support
- To provide access to information, advice and resources
The long-term hopes of the charity are that
- It will lead the way in providing comprehensive support to all affected by baby loss, including parents, extended family and friends
- It will increase awareness of this global issue, and utilise media, social media and other methods to educate society as to its devastating effect on the lives of not only parents but entire communities
- It will utilise the skills of staff and volunteers to develop and explore new areas of support
The Mariposa Trust, though providing significant levels of support and services globally, is a charity which relies fully on volunteers and finance from donations, fundraising and events, as it receives no government or statutory funding. It will continue to explore avenues of income generation, to help cover the operational and service/support costs.