The Lexi Doll Charity visited Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley to donate special rag dolls to help the charity support children who have a sibling being cared for at the hospice.
The Lexi Doll Charity was set up in 2016 by Jessica Frost in memory of her daughter Lexi. Lexi was born on 20th July 2016, but sadly following complications during labour, she died two days later.
Jessica’s young nieces struggled with the news that Lexi had died as they had been very excited to meet the new-born. Jessica and her partner got them a rag doll each and called it Lexi – they noticed that the girls responded to having something that they could hold, cuddle and play with as they processed the loss.
Jessica explains, “When we saw how our nieces responded to having their very own ‘Lexi’ doll and how it helped them to understand what had happened, we decided that we wanted to do this for other children in this situation and, as it was our daughter who inspired this idea, we decided to call them Lexi Dolls.
“We originally only donated the dolls to neo-natal hospital units, but we visited Little Havens last year and were just in awe of what the hospice does for so many families across Essex. We were especially impressed by the support they provide to siblings throughout their journey including helping them during bereavement and knew our dolls would help Little Havens continue to support the children who have experienced a loss.”
The dolls come in both boys and girls in a variety of ethnicities; the Little Havens Wellbeing Team will be handing them out to children when supporting them through bereavement and help them process their grief.
Jane Fieldson, Family Support Counsellor at Little Havens, said, “We are really grateful to Jessica and her team at The Lexi Doll Charity for choosing to donate some dolls to Little Havens. Traditionally, children under the age of seven are not offered one to one counselling, so all the bereavement work we do with children of this age is around play. Where there has been the loss of a baby, the Lexi Dolls will be a brilliant resource. It is such a simple but effective idea and will help us continue to care for not just the child who has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, but the whole family.”
Little Havens is part of Havens Hospices, which also includes Fair Havens Hospice and The J’s Hospice. All the hospice services help by controlling pain and medication, offering respite and caring for adults, babies, children and young people at the end of their lives. This free, specialist care is there for as long as it’s needed, within the home, in the community and at the two hospices. To find out more about Havens Hospices please click here [https://www.havenshospices.org.uk].