Pride of Britain 2021: Meet Regional Fundraiser of the Year finalist Sarah Parsons

  • Sarah Parsons shares her fundraising story with Zoe Muldoon.

It is that time of year again where we celebrate those from our communities who have given their time to raise thousands of pounds to help others.

We've been searching for the Granada Reports Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year, and have whittled it down to four outstanding finalists.

One of them is Sarah Parsons. Sarah's daughter Maggie was born stillborn, two days before her due date, six years ago. Since then, she has dedicated her life to raising money to help grieving parents in a similar situation to cope with the loss of their baby.

Sarah with her husband Mark and baby daughter Maggie.

Sarah and her husband Mark got to spend three precious days with their daughter, thanks to a ‘cuddle cot’ which Maggie was placed in. This is a bespoke cot with a cold unit underneath which preserves the baby’s body so that parents and families can spend time with them after they pass away.

Despite making memories with Maggie, Sarah was devastated to learn that another mother on the hospital ward had also lost her baby, yet she didn’t get to use the cuddle cot to spend more time with her child.

Sarah was heartbroken at the thought of families not having the same, precious experience that she and Mark did, so she was determined to provide more cuddle cots to more hospitals.

Cuddle Cots allow parents to be with their babies for a few more days after they have died. Credit: ITV News

Through online auctions, she raises funds to provide cuddle cots for hospitals and funeral homes across the UK, including Royal Blackburn Hospital, Burnley Hospital and Wolverhampton Hospital.

Sarah also creates and donates memory boxes which parents use to make special memories with their babies.

These include items like hand and footprints, a teddy bear to send with their baby and a matching one for parents to keep, a handmade angel keyring and many other items.

Sarah fundraises for memory boxes for grieving parents. Credit: ITV News

So far, Sarah has raised over £60,000 and does not plan on stopping her fundraising mission in her daughter’s name any time soon. She has recently raised enough to provide a new cuddle cot to a local funeral home and dedicates her days to Maggie’s Stillbirth Legacy.

All this week on Granada Reports, we'll be sharing the stories of our four shortlisted nominees.

The winner will be revealed on our programme at 6pm on Friday. They'll be invited to attend the Pride of Britain ceremony in London.

What is Pride of Britain?

Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country. Their achievements are awe-inspiring and a lesson to us all. They say they are ordinary people, but their acts are truly extraordinary.Since the first Pride of Britain in 1999, royalty, prime ministers, and hundreds of leading figures from showbiz, sport, politics and the arts have all taken part.

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the Awards attract an audience of around five million viewers every year in a primetime slot on ITV - making it the highest rated awards show of its kind on British television.

Watch the Pride of Britain Awards on ITV.