Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury, has been shortlisted for a Butterfly Award alongside fellow MP Will Quince following the work they have done in establishing and co-chairing the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss.
The Butterfly Awards are an annual event which aims to raise awareness of the inspirational stories regarding the subject of baby loss, but also to celebrate the work done by hospitals, professionals, charities and individuals which often go unnoticed.
They are now in their 5th year with 300 people expected to attend, and the event set to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week which runs from October 9-14.
In 2009, Antoinette went through the experience of losing her five-day-old son Sam to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Since becoming an MP she has spoken out about her experience and following an adjournment debate in November 2015, she along with fellow MPs set about making a difference in parliament to break the silence on such a taboo subject and improve current government policy.
As a result, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss was set up, which Antoinette co-chairs alongside Will Quince MP.
Its overall aim is to develop policy that supports families dealing with the grief and loss of a baby, and to raise awareness of what more can be done by the government, parliament or other agencies to help those affected.
The APPG has continued to exert pressure on the government to put stillbirth and neo-natal death high on the agenda and kept the government focussed on its commitment to reduce the number of stillbirths to 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.
In addition to this the group has campaigned for bereavement suites in every hospital, increasing the number of bereavement midwives, better education for professionals and parents, improving maternity care, smoking cessation support and increased fetal monitoring.
Ms Sandbach said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated for the Awareness Advocate Award alongside other individuals who have made a huge impact on raising awareness not only around their own experience but on the subject as a whole.
“Both Will and I are truly humbled to be recognised for the work we are doing, however our only aim is to see positive change happen for all those families who are tragically affected by baby loss.”
In addition to the work of the APPG, Antoinette has been successful in lobbying the government to secure £1.4m for Alder Hey Children’s Charity to build a new, bespoke Child Bereavement Centre.
During this parliament, Antoinette will also be introducing a 10-minute rule motion to outlaw the dangerous use of home dopplers.
The awards ceremony will take place on October 14 with a public vote happening between September 9-30.
There will then be a panel vote with the scores being combined and the winner being announced on the night.