Ronnie during his fundraising challenge

Inspirational Ronnie’s Mission to help bereaved families

A seven-year-old fundraiser from North Devon has donated a cuddle cot to Demelza in memory of his baby brother.

Last summer Ronnie Hawkings embarked on a daily five-mile cycling challenge to raise £2,000 to purchase the special cooling pad and memory boxes for causes that help bereaved families.

He was inspired to fundraise following the death of his little brother Vinnie in 2019. Ronnie’s parents, Carly and Ryan, were able to spend five precious days and nights with their child by using a cuddle cot, after he was stillborn at 32 weeks.

After doing his research, Ronnie decided that Demelza should be the recipient of the specialist equipment. Mum Carly, said: “If we hadn’t used the cuddle cot, we wouldn’t have had those precious days with Vinnie; we wouldn’t have had time to say goodbye. We are so proud of Ronnie – the fundraising is all his idea. He wanted everyone to remember his little brother.

“Ronnie researched several organisations and he knew straight away that he wanted Demelza to receive the cuddle cot. It’s important to him that he helped other families experiencing loss and grief.”
In March, Ronnie is planning on travelling over 200 miles to Demelza’s Kent hospice to hand-deliver the cot and three memory boxes.
Senior Healthcare Assistant Louise Cariney, who is a bereavement lead at Demelza, said: “Ronnie’s fundraising efforts are nothing short of remarkable and he should be very proud of all he has achieved in Vinnie’s memory.

“Thanks to Ronnie, families who have experienced the death of an infant will have the choice to use the cuddle cot if they wish, giving them time to be together to create memories.”

Ronnie and a HCA unpack his donated cuddle cot.

What is a cuddle cot?

A cuddle cot is a cooling mattress that can be placed in a cot or a pram. It allows bereaved parents and family members to stay with or visit a baby before their funeral.

Donating in memory

Donating in memory is a beautiful way to celebrate the life of someone you love. You will be honouring their life at the same time as helping the life of children and families. Find out more about donating in memory by visiting our in-memory webpage