We wish to thank the thousands of people who voted for us from all over the world, for the three categories for the Butterfly awards recently.
We did not win.
I know it was not about winning, who really needs a bit of etched glass to say we have done well in the name of our Daughter Molly Mear. We felt the Butterflies did not understand what we do, or what Mearfest is about. However, we walked away head held high, feeling proud that Mearfest is a totally unique experience. We have managed to spread the forbidden word of stillbirth to every part of this globe with the help of our angel baby Molly's handprint, and then through the powerful genre of rock music, which has lightened the burden of loss for us. Not to mention the amount of money we have raised in her name £30,000 in just three years.
Mearfesters you are all unique people, each one of you are on this journey with us, for which we wish to thank you.
The good thing which came from this night, was meeting up with Kerri Ann from Our Angel Bears, she sat opposite us on table 13, the losers table!!! Haha!!
Since that night hooking up with Our Angel Bears, brian and I feel we are back on track with who we will be donating to. As much as we adore DSNE and we will continue our North events for them, we needed to give back to the babies lost, to the parents going through today, right now, the loss we went through back in 2013. But, we did not know how to go forward with this.
So, every cloud as they say....... we found our silver lining in the oddest of places that night in Warwick. Our babies were with us that night, networking harder than we were...Just look at all those golden butterflies hanging above our heads, every day this is happening.
Links below of what these amazing ladies do for the planet, self funded I might add, but not any more. We hope to set up our own just giving page for them.
Mearfest south will be donating to these guys from now on.
Thank you to philip Stuckey who the next day at Mearfest North, gave us his own Butterfly award on behalf of you all.
All these little gestures of love and support matter. This is why we give back to you all, with little gestures of love and support where we can.
Here is to 20/20 our new vision is to be bigger, to get louder, to give more.
THANK YOU on behalf of all at Mearfest for doing what you along with Kerri And Victoria, for all the little babies born under 24 weeks. You give them a name, you clothe them when nothing else fits, you support their raw, grieving, distressed, parents when their worlds has just crashed.
We at Mearfest salute you all and are so please to be able to help where we can.
You have given us back our purpose, this is what we are meant to do. We have returned.
All our Eternal gratitude and love
Claire, Brian, Amélie and Molly Mear
As Diamond head prepare to hit the stage
Supporting Black Angel Riders in Helsinki
And Molly smiles !
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT KARL WILCOX
WE ADORE YOU !!
Who would have thought our unborn child would have travelled so far
been seen by so many people.
It's absolutely amazing
Diamond Head taking the lightning to the Nation's for over 40 years!
Thank you so much for the photos
Our Angel Bears
UK Support Orginisation
How Our Angel Bears started.
Our Angel Bears are three bereaved mothers Suzanne, Victoria and Kerri who started our page to help families who have suffered the devastating loss of a child, the team members have each suffered multiple losses from first and second trimester miscarriages to neonatal loss, totalling 16 between us -Suzanne has nine , Victoria has four and Kerri has three . We felt that there wasn't a lot of support available to help families especially in first trimester loss and that families needed a safe space where they could talk about their babies and not be judged, not be told to get over it, or it wasn't really a baby because the loss happened early. We as a team had heard these comments so many times and we knew how much they hurt. This is where we decided to unite in our grief to form Our Angel Bears.
WHAT DO WE DO?
As the page started gaining more likes and we were building up a rapport with other grieving parents, we were saddened by how many stories we were hearing of people leaving their hospitals empty handed when they were supposed to leave a hospital with a baby, as a team we decided that we would like to send keepsakes to anybody who didn’t have any acknowledgement of their baby, we knew this may prove to be costly but from the feedback from the recipients of our hospital keepsakes and our own experiences we knew this was something we wanted to try. Families can apply for these through our online application form. Since October 2017 to date we have managed to send out almost 300 packages of these keepsakes (mostly in the UK but some to the USA) as well as our hospital keepsakes. We are so blessed that people kindly donate postal costs to us when possible but otherwise we fund these out of our own wages or when we sell promotional items.
We assist the nurses from the Early Pregnancy Unit at Royal Bournemouth Hospital to run an informal support group every quarter. These meet ups for bereaved parents so they can share their experiences and be supported by others going through or have suffered pregnancy loss. The loss could be recent or years ago everyone is welcome to attend. The support group has been running for 2 years. EPU nurse Wendy Copping says of the support groups. “We at Royal Bournemouth are so very proud of the links we have with Our Angel Bears support network. Our ladies/couples who sadly suffer miscarriage gain great comfort from the little memory gift bags offered to them when attending the EPU Discovering that you sadly suffered a miscarriage is something that causes terrible distress and often despair. The Our Angel Bears support group has provided untold love, friendship and support to bereaved parents and relatives and without tis our early pregnancy unit would not be the same. I am proud to be a part of it and it’s such an asset to Royal Bournemouth.
Clothing for angel babies:
Recently we have been receiving emails from hospitals asking for our help in supplying them with clothing and other items for angel babies of all gestational ages. We have a wonderful team of knitters and crocheters who help make this possible. We are able to regularly send items of clothing, comforters, wraps and cocoons to these hospitals. Our hope is that parents feel some joy in being able to do as many things as they can with their baby before they begin their final journey earth side.
These are some of the lovely messages and comments we have received from page members of Our Angel Bears
You are the most wonderful, amazing, caring wonderful sweethearts who will do anything to help parents grandparents and everyone who needs the comfort you bring after a loss of a baby or a child and I really can't thank you enough – Maura Davey, Pauls mummy
Our package has just been delivered and me and my family are in tears the package is amazing thank you so much can't believe the amount of things that were in it we’ll keep it forever – Ellie De-Gernier, Jonathon’s mummy
Hello, my name's Louise. I just wanted to say thank you for the bear packages that you gave to Amy to pass on to me at your support group. I was incredibly touched, particularly as you gave me 3, one for each miscarriage. It's so lovely to have each one acknowledged and to have some tangible mementos to remember them by. There's so much love and effort put into those packages and they will be so comforting. I also wanted to say what a great thing you are doing and how much it would've helped my husband and I to have had a support system like yours when we were going through each loss. When I brought the packages home last night and showed my husband, we both had a few tears and had a real heart to heart for the first time in quite a while and now we both feel much more positive and on the same page about trying again. So thank you for making that happen Louise White – Baby White’s Mummy
I just wanted to say that I came across the angel bears website when I lost my three beautiful angels & I can honestly say that at the hardest time of my life this support group has massively helped. Suzanne is such a sweetheart and has helped me so much with the group and being able to share my story with women who share my pain and loss. Even though it was so hard to speak about at first it helped me on my journey to live with the loss of my angels, but still carry all the love in my heart. Suzanne has not only become someone I could speak to whenever I was struggling, but a true friend. A beautiful soul and an inspiration. Thank you so much angel bears for being my rock when I was sinking. I’ll be forever lucky to be a part of such love and support like I have had throughout my ongoing journey- Charlotte Beard, mummy of 3 angels
Our Angel Bears has been a fantastic support to so many bereaved families. They have provided understanding and comfort around the clock. They are a wonderful team who have sadly experienced the same loss themselves, so understand the multitude and direction of emotions, a listening ear through their site, as well as respectful space when it's needed. Interest is shown, but never intrusive. Our Angel Bears go above and beyond to support families who they don't know, very regularly spending their own money - not just their time - in order to provide the much-needed comfort necessary. The level of support they give can be highlighted by the level of followers they have on social media - the numbers of people who recognise them as a positive 'safe space' speak for themselves. All members of the team are respectful, friendly, understanding, inspirational and supportive. They come together to unite a community of comfort when it's needed the most. I have a massive respect for the team, I thank them for the ongoing support, loyalty, friendship and understanding they have shown me, and I hope they continue to flourish in the future in all aspects. It's amazing how they give so much of their time - creating packs for hospitals; supporting people on an individual level as well as a supportive network online, regular social events for them to speak with people in a small group in a relaxed setting... the list is endless, without expectation of anything in return. These are VERY special people and I would love for them to get the recognition they deserve. Thank you team Our Angel Bears for all you do - you are amazing. Liz Austin Youle, Baby Youle’s mummy
A few months ago I lost my angel Finley, after his funeral I was given a small bag which I briefly looked at and in blind grief put in his keepsake, now his due day is here and I struggle in tears I reach for that box looking at scan pictures memories of what I hoped would be then I found your bag, I do not know you but I would like to thank you, I can’t pretend it heals the pain but the knitted hearts (may sound silly) but keeping them near makes me feel close to him and makes me feel like someone understands. Giving these gifts is such a lovely thing to do thank you so much. Natalie Sandom – Finley’s mummy
Thank you to Mick Durnion for making this framed piece of art using Molly picks created by the wonderful Ian Purvis from Geno printing designs. They truly are an incredible thing, which represents all we do and all we are about. Genius!
This image will be shown along with many others on Fallen Mafias
new video for the track " Nymph"
It is an amazing track about loss, remembrance and wishing you could have said more to those you have lost
It is hoped the video will be out for Christmas
Delighted to be a part of this.
Fallen Mafia will be playing for MEARFEST NORTH
next year 20th December 2020.
HERE THEY ARE BELOW, FILMED AT STONEDEAF
MEARFEST SOUTH WILL BE JOINING FORCES WITH OUR ANGEL BEARS
Something has not been right for us at Mearfest, we have been wondering how to go forward with what we do for a little while now, continuing our venture in a very constructive, productive, and creative way. Keeping in line with why we started Mearfest in our daughter Molly’s name back in August 2016.
Our main objective is to raise awareness about stillbirth and infant loss this we do through our rock events. At our unique shows we provide a safe yet fun space to talk freely about such a painful loss. We wondered how we could find the time to attend counselling courses and set up a charity business, virtually on our own, while managing a young child and work commitments.
While attending the Butterfly awards, one great thing came out of this was we met up with Kerri Fettis from ‘Our Angel Bears’. A non-profit organisation who help bereaved families going through the heartbreak of pregnancy, infant and child loss. Suzanne Stockbridge is the founder, and has lost nine babies herself, she is also a huge rock and metal fan, this is already sounding like a great union of like minds. The third team member is Victoria Fahey. Between them, they had suffered multiple losses and had all reached the dark depths of grief themselves. Through this they had created something wonderful, in the form of a memory/keepsake box, which within it lays a certificate of life, as many people lose their babies before 24 weeks, when they are not viable and therefore would not be given any recognition of life.
Another huge part of what they have created is, that when it came to the funeral and laying the baby to rest, many parents could not find clothing small enough to fit their babies, Our Angel Bears have an army of knitters, that create tiny outfits and even miniature moses baskets that can fit into the palm of your hand.
They self-fund everything they do, paying for this out of their own salaries, they accept donations and work tirelessly by sending out hundreds of these very personalised boxes to the people who need them the most. They have created a unique and vital service, which we wholeheartedly believe in. This collaboration has made us feel that we at Mearfest are now complete and ready to move forward.
We have decided to donate Mearfest South funds to them, yesterday we sent them £150.00 taken from the Mearfest North event last Sunday to help get things moving again, as Suzanne after years of struggle now has her rainbow daughter Rosie, who is just five months old. So, they cannot afford to do as much as they wish to right now All three ladies will all be at our next event in June, and will be able to show everyone what they do, happy to talk to anyone who has lost a baby. They run a baby loss support group in Bournemouth which is an informal coffee morning once every three months also attended by a midwife from the hospital. Both Suzanne and Victoria have gone through grief and bereavement training by the foundation of infant loss provided by Dr Chantal Lockey.
We are so pleased with this alliance, and we hope we all go from strength to strength.
THANK YOU UNCLE JOHN
A HUGE THANK YOU TO
This year we announced that we need to change how we go about business, as in every sense fundraising is a business. We have had various ideas on how to move forward, by spreading the taboo word that is stillbirth around the world, by continuing to use Molly's name and her legendary handprint.
We only started all this just three years ago, it feels like ten, by achieving so much and we know that her little hand and her name has opened up people's hearts and minds that stillbirth can happen to any one of us, whatever age whatever background. The whole subject can be an awkward one, but how we have handled this has just been a natural progression, with many trials and errors, and many lessons learnt along the way, so it doesn't seem awkward anymore, in fact this subject matter can now flow a lot easier, mothers and fathers of sleeping babies are now able to talk openly at our events to each other and to others who have never even heard of such things until now, with trust and compassion, all via our social media and online websites. This for us is an achievement. We do not need awards, just to see our daughters hand move amongst the crowds is enough. Our dilemma to date is where do we go from here.
We have thought about this since the Butterfly awards, where we saw a lot of the same types of things going on, we realised while walking away with no award, that we are unique in what we do. No one does what we do using rock music events, t-shirts, art and poetry to help those who have lost to talk, and to spread the word that this shit happens to the best of us. We have big plans for next year, 20/20 vision as they say, we wish to grow bigger and be better than ever before, involving many friends who have been with us along the way to meeting new people with ideas and energy.
We wish to keep donating, we have decided to split out final amounts into thirds, one third of whatever we earn to a charity, this time it will be once again the wonderful Down Syndrome North East, as they were so kind in coming down to see us all last weekend. Even though they were not expecting a penny this time, they really got involved and for that we just adore each one of them. And Molly would have been six and enjoying her own special clubs by now. The people at DSNE help us feel closer to her in this way. And we are so close to donating to DSNE .....TEN THOUSAND POUNDS!!!!
One third will go on our costs of running all this, from all stationary, printing cost, t-shirts, to admin costs for our website, to travel costs, and just the sheer amount of time we put into this on a day to day level. Every night when Amélie is in bed I am dealing with Mearfest stuff, answering emails, some of them heartbreaking, most uplifting and proud moments, to uploading your wonderful photos god bless you all, to writing blogs, sending merch, creating artwork, it just goes on and on. Same goes to Brian, every day he is doing nearly the same, we are very visible online. And we are always here for any one who has gone through the same experiences we have.
The final third we need to bank, for future events or anything next year brings us. We have been asked to create some events for some bands, which will be a new venture this takes time and funding. But the revenue earnt will again go back into the three separate pots, so in time we can give more and achieve more.
Whatever we do, all you loyal Mearfesters know, we are not cheap, we give away so much of our time, energy and whatever items we may have. We hold onto nothing, (maybe Brian holds on to a few CDs here and there) its all material, it's not a life that is irreplaceable.
We need to look into raising our own £5k for us to register as a charity, I know this can take a lot of time to achieve, from past experiences from other charities, and there are many rules and regulations, then the red tape to wade through, by then we would have more of an understanding as to how we will proceed with who we are. It's our new challenge.
So, last weekend we raised just over £2K. Which is amazing. We are donating £750 to DSNE inclusive of gift aid. Which they don't know about yet!!!! the rest was split as we had costs from Newcastle and annual admin costs for our website and those awards which we cant be bothered to mention.......
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE TIME PATIENCE SUPPORT.
ALL OUR LOVE CLAIRE BRIAN AMÉLIE AND MOLLY
This year Mearfest has grown significantly, we feel we are finally achieving our original goals of spreading awareness about the difficult subject that is still birth and infant loss.
We have received many personal messages of support stating how much our work has helped other parents and family members come to terms with their losses. We are proud to say that Molly’s reach is far and wide, not only on a personal level but also, we have new interests from bands from all continents.
Between us we have reached a point where we are having to commit a huge amount of time and energy to all things Mearfest. There is now huge potential to expand as an organisation, where we would love to hold many other events which incorporate other music and art forms.
One area we both would love to learn more about is bereavement counselling, even though we are both medics who have gone through this ordeal ourselves, there is so much more to learn. We have received many messages from recently bereaved parents, not just in the UK but from everywhere, which is an honour to us both. This is the area where we would like to move forward into, to be able to offer a valuable service to help others, either in person, at one of our events or via the internet, so it does not necessarily have to be a local community project, we wish to be able to speak to anyone anywhere in the world.
Many ideas are surfacing, with so many possible and positive ways forward. Following Mearfest north we are planning to become a social enterprise. This will help us to be able to expand further in all we do, but in a more financially sustainable transparent way. Recently we were approached by a charity organiser and business woman, someone who has walked this path herself after losing her son to stillbirth. We understand that this was Molly’s purpose.
We will be setting ourselves up so all money raised will be accounted for. But this takes a lot of time to muddle through complicated rules and paperwork. We will be getting things underway in the new year where we hope to launch our next Mearfest chapter.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT AND LOVE & KINDNESS
TURNING LOSS INTO LEGACY
In a rock venue far far away.....
We are absolutely delighted that the 501st Legion will be flying in to join us at Mearfest North again this year.
They went down a storm (trooper) last time and Jase Fox and Paul Dixon
did such a wonderful job with the Down Syndrome North group
and fans alike Claire made a short movie of the whole thing.
Once again the Force will be with us !
What will the story be this time?
The return of A bad-1 or some other galactic struggle which could be you........
Molly Adam & Amélie
Brian & Claire Mear pride themselves on putting on a good show. Photography is Claires passion, only the finest collection of images will be added here by the best photographers. We both hope you enjoy the show.