Our guest blogger today is UWA student Georgia Donaldson. After spending her last few years delving into the likes of Shakespeare and International Relations, Georgia decided to spend her final winter break of her English and Political Science degree interning at WHFS as a social media and marketing intern. With a keen passion for all things social media and writing, she tried her hand once again at blogging, wanting to share her voice and small contributions from her time at WHFS.
Red Nose Day is a cause we have all become familiar with through fundraisers at school and simply seeing the famous bright red noses walking around throughout August every year. I can recall my first time being involved in a Red Nose Day appeal, a talent show at my primary school where I presented a baking show, pretending to be the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. I have fond memories of dressing up in those funny red noses, raising money for the cause but never really giving the story behind the charity a second thought. I wonder now, how many of us actually know the cause we are raising money for. To understand the necessity of foundations such as Red Nose Day, let us first take a moment to dive into understanding their cause.
Red Nose Day is a foundation formed with the aim to reduce the number of sudden and unexpected infant and child deaths. In Australia, nine children die this way everyday, breaking the hearts of families who were excited to enjoy their bundle of joy. Parents across Australia experience extreme grief and loss due to their child suddenly dying from stillbirth, miscarriage and SIDS, without explanation or reason. Every year, Australia loses more than 3000 babies, toddles and pre-schoolers, and we still do not completely understand why. The mystery that surrounds SIDS, miscarriage and stillbirth has gone hand in hand with the isolation and shame that women who suffer these awful situations experience. A loneliness like no other with a pain the one cannot even begin to comprehend unless they have experienced it themselves. However, without knowing, almost all of us will know someone who has experienced this loss.
Red Nose came from humble beginnings, a living room charity founded in 1977 by bereaved parents of a child lost of SIDS. Today, it is an iconic national fundraising event, raising awareness, providing support for grieving parents and being a leading authority on safe sleep and pregnancy. Every August, we ‘get silly for a serious cause’, raising funds to support families impacted by this and to further fund research into the mystery of SIDS, stillbirth and miscarriage.This national exposure and recognition has resulted in an 85 per cent reduction in SIDS in Australia, but they will not stop there. Their goal is to reduce nine deaths a day down to zero. No exceptions. We are on our way to this goal, and yet the finish line is still so very far away. Across the board, we still need education of all women in how to have the safest, healthiest pregnancies and what to do when the child finally arrives. We can hold out hope for the coming research breakthroughs in this field but until then, education and risk reduction are our best friends.
It would be a wonderful world in which to live, where every parent could welcome their child into their lives, without fear of suddenly losing them to an inexplicable cause. Sadly, this is not yet the case. In the mean time, help is never too far away. We at the Women’s Health and Family Service are here to offer support, no matter the circumstance. Throughout society, the commonality of miscarriage is not spoken about enough, with many often suffering and grieving in silence. We need not feel alone. We need not suffer and feel ashamed. There are people we can talk to, confide in and seek help from. Foundations such as Red Nose have been trail blazers in this area, with this expanding out to other and newer service providers and foundations such as the WHFS over the past few decades as stigma and shame have been slowly, but surely lifted.
This Red Nose Day, I encourage you to get silly for a serious cause, but spare a minute to reflect on the foundation and the cause itself, to remember those who were lost too soon, and the families still living with the grief. Put on that Red Nose this August 9th and support a great cause.