Date: Tuesday 12 May 2015
Peter Northcroft is preparing for a special challenge – to run 25km raising money for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, in memory of his baby son George.
Peter and wife Georgina were left devastated in October 2014 when George, their second child, was sadly stillborn.
Now Peter has embarked on a challenge in memory of baby George to raise money for Sands, which has been a source of support for his family – and we’ve donated £500 to help him reach his fundraising target.
Peter has signed up for the Grand Union Challenge, which will see him run 25km between Watford and Tring on Saturday 27th June.
He says: “The point of the run is really for us as a family to do something positive to remember baby George and also to raise awareness about the work Sands does and stillbirth in general. It’s almost a taboo subject but I think it’s important to get people talking about it. It is a massive trauma to experience and most people don’t really realise how deep the impact is on the mother, the father, and close family.”
The support provided by Sands for Peter and Georgina included being given a memory box in hospital containing photographs and prints of baby George’s hands and feet.
They’ve found the charity’s leaflets and website a useful resource, while there are also Sands support meetings and the local branch of the charity has set up a garden of remembrance in Hemel Hempstead.
A collection for Sands was made at baby George’s funeral and it was the obvious cause for Peter to choose when he decided to take on a challenge in his son’s memory. Within just a week of launching his JustGiving page, he had exceeded his target of raising £3,000 for the charity.
“I can’t believe the response we’ve had from people. They’ve been so generous, and it’s been quite overwhelming,” says Peter.
Our support for Peter dates back to when Georgina was pregnant with George. The couple had planned to move home to provide more space for their growing family – and had found the ideal home at our Faulkners Place development in Harpenden.
The loss of George left their plans for the future in turmoil, but they decided to go ahead with the move, which took place in February 2015, and have been touched by the kindness they’ve experienced from our staff and their neighbours at the development.
Peter says: “The move was great for giving us a focus and Taylor Wimpey have been fantastic, not just in making a donation for the run, but also in terms of having been very sensitive in terms of what’s happened to us. Tam in the sales office was very kind. Many people wait for you to mention it initially, which can make it hard to talk about, but she raised it first, which was very brave of her. She was just fantastic.”
A former rugby player, Peter is now focused on the challenge of preparing for his 25km run. “I’m not a great build for a long distance run, but I’m hoping that it will be fairly gentle along the towpath,” he says.
“I’ve just started training and it’s good to get outside. I hadn’t done anything since the day of my son’s funeral and 25km seems quite daunting in terms of building up my mileage. Because we’ve moved, I’m exploring new routes and trails in my training. It’s just lovely up here.”
To sponsor Peter in his challenge, visit: www.justgiving.com/babygeorgenorthcroft, while to find out more about Sands, visit: www.uk-sands.org.