Tamba has played such a massive part in my life since I had my twins.
I excitedly got in touch with them when I found out we were expecting twins. I joined the group and looked forward to the regular twin magazines whilst I was pregnant. Twins were so special, everyone was so excited, even people I didn’t know. And then ‘identical’ twins – I planned the outfits, the holidays, school etc etc.
The magazines continued to come after they had died and it took me a while to ring them and explain that I didn’t need them anymore. That’s when I learnt about the bereavement support group.
I was matched up to a befriender who lived in Manchester. The first phone call was quite scary but so reasurring. We exchanged many calls and letters after that first call. I continued to be supported by Jackie for the whole of that first year. I was pregnant with Jessica by then too so needed lots of reassurance! I needed support that was specifically twin related. I would never know what it would be like to have twins growing up. I would still love twins, they fascinate me. Once Jessica was born I would constantly imagine what it would be like to be doing everything with two, feeding, bathing, dressing etc.
After Jessica was born I decided to become a befriender, to help someone as Jackie had helped me. We had to be a year on in our grief. The first few calls were nerve wracking but it felt good to be doing something for Tamba. I continued befriending as a volunteer for 15 years. I have spoken to so many people, made so many friends and heard about so many precious babies who have died. I feel privileged that people will share their story with me. I love to tell people about Charlie and Joshua and I get to say their names too. I have been lucky enough to meet quite a few of my Tamba friends as well which has been lovely.
I was then asked to take on the role of the Tamba bereavement group coordinator, working 5 hours a week from home. Sadly the office takes me about 2 hours to get to usually, but I do go on occasions. Then my hours were increased to 7. I love my Tamba work so much. I am so lucky that I get to do two jobs that I love. Since Sept 2015 I have been able to speak to so many more bereaved parents, I get to talk to everyone who comes to Tamba who wants a befriender. I also still do some befriending.
It is so special that even though my twins died that I can still be part of Tamba.
I am so grateful to Tamba. I am sure it is one of the main reasons that I have got to this point with my grief. That is why I want my ’18th birthday challenge’ to raise some money for Tamba if it possibly can.
Sands also played a big role in supporting me but I will talk about this separately.