1. ITV Report

Woman 'overwhelmed' by response after wedding dress turned into burial outfits for stillborn babies

A woman who donated her wedding dress to be turned into tiny burial outfits for stillborn babies has said she is "overwhelmed" by the response to her generous gesture.

Yvonne Trimble has been sent messages of thanks from around the world after sharing her story, with the charity telling ITV News that thousands more dresses had been pledged in the past two days.

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Ms Trimble, originally from Edinburgh, said she realised last year that she was never going to wear her dress again, so decided to put it to good use.

She sent it to Dover-based charity Cherished Gowns for Angel Babies, which is run by volunteers and helps transform pre-loved dresses into little gowns for babies who are stillborn or who die shortly after birth.

Now living in Limassol, Cyprus, she posted images of her wearing her gown to Facebook on January 3, alongside pictures of the beautiful dresses created from the material, and a link to the charity's website.

Her post has since been shared more than 87,000 times, and the charity has been inundated with thousands of offers of more dresses - so many that they have had to start a waiting list for anyone wanting to donate their gown.

Cherished Gowns founder Megan McKay told ITV News they had received more than 7,500 pledges in the past two days - enough to create between 75,000 and 300,000 tiny gowns.

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In a later message, Yvonne said she had never expected to gain so much attention, and thanked everyone who had shared her original post.

It's all been a bit overwhelming - I seem to have spent most of today ... crying as I read the beautiful messages sent to my inbox.

It's been very emotional as people have shared their tales of losing babies with me, but everyone has been so grateful for the attention this issue now has. There's not much I can say apart from thank you, thank you, thank you - none of this would have happened without you all sharing.

Thank you for taking the time and for helping to make a dreadful period for bereaved families just a little better.

I leave you with an excerpt from one of the messages I've received as I couldn't put it any better than this: 'So from the bottom of my heart thank you for giving us mums some relief in the knowledge that our angel babies are forever wrapped in love.'

– Yvonne Trimble
Some of the gowns created from Yvonne Trimble's wedding dress Credit: Yvonne Trimble/Cherished Gowns

According to the Cherished Gowns website, since starting up in October 2014 they had received more than 1,100 wedding dresses - helping create over 5,000 outfits and 9,500 knitted accessories.

Depending on its size, each wedding dress donated produces an average of 10 small gowns, catering to babies from just 20 weeks into pregnancy.

With these infants measuring at roughly the size of a biro, founder Ms Kelly said parents often struggle to find clothes for their lost child, which is where the charity steps in.

They are sent to hospitals, funeral homes and directly to parents free of charge, and they accept donations towards their postage costs.

The organisation is run by Ms McKay, Lynda Garrett and Hayley Mullen, along with an army of 400 volunteer sewers - which has now almost doubled to more than 700 after Yvonne's Facebook post.

One of the gowns made from Yvonne's wedding dress Credit: Yvonne Trimble/Cherished Gowns

Mother-of-three Ms McKay said she started volunteering for a similar cause, and started her own with other volunteers when it shut down.

In a lot of ways it's an absolute travesty that in 2016 it's still happening - but unless medicine takes a huge leap forward from where we are, there will always be parents having to go through this.

We get people contacting us after they have left the hospital - they are still grieving, and then they realised they have a funeral to arrange and no idea where to get clothes that will fit their baby.

To know that we have helped and provided that family with something beautiful they can dress their baby in is just wonderful.

– Megan McKay, founder