On the back of huge community support, Muswellbrook PCYC manager De-anne Douglas raises $12,000 to purchase two cuddle cots

DE-ANNE Douglas loves her community.

And, it appears the Upper Hunter adores her, too.

Last year, the Muswellbrook PCYC manager set herself a task to raise $6000 so she could acquire a cuddle cot, which would allow people the chance to spend precious time saying goodbye to their gorgeous bubs in hospital.

The crusade was personal for Ms Douglas after her beautiful family lost its much-loved babies Ambah De-anne, Amarni, Brayden and Ryder.

Much to her surprise, she not only reached her goal - she doubled it.

"I'm thrilled to say we got $12,000," Ms Douglas said.

"In fact, I am overwhelmed by the result.

"Even Bears of Hope, who we registered with, was blown away by what we did as a community.

"That includes Aberdeen, Denman and Muswellbrook.

"I can't thank everyone enough; from those who attended our event to the bands [on the night], as well as the Railway Hotel and all the businesses involved.

"We couldn't have done it without them.

"Losing a baby is an incredibly heartbreaking and traumatic instance for parents - at a time when they require loving support and care.

"So, we just wanted to help other families who go through this situation.

"Now, John Hunter Hospital and The Maitland Hospital will be homes to new cuddle cots, as Muswellbrook and Singleton already possessed them.

"They're ordered - and on their way.

"Being able to utilise a cuddle cot meant so much to my family.

"It gave us an opportunity to create memories and spend extra time with our baby; it made a huge difference.

"Hopefully, others will benefit from them."

Ms Douglas admitted her campaign had been an emotional experience.

"I heard a lot of stories from people who'd gone through similar things," she said.

"All from different generations, too.

"I honestly think they were glad to share their grief and talk to others who understood.

"And, it might have been cathartic for them.

"At the time, of the fundraiser, we also released balloons into the sky in honour of our children.

"It was beautiful - and so well-supported.

"It had a big impact on all of us."