Charities provide so much support in time of need

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It is impossible to imagine the heartbreak and grief suffered by the parents of identical twins Neve and Belle Boitelle, who both died so young of cancer.

The twins were born prematurely but were diagnosed with the aggressive form of childhood cancer within months.

Tragically, Neve died aged just six months, despite undergoing chemotherapy.

Her sister was diagnosed with the same illness after displaying identical symptons. But Belle succumbed to the illness in March this year, dying in her parents’s arms.

During their short lives, cancer charity the Candlelighters had provided fantastic support to parents Clare and Darren.

We hear time and time again about the wonderful service and support charities provide.

In the case of Clare and Darren, the Candlelighters not only provided vital respite for the parents, but they also funded a short family holiday for them near Filey.

Now Clare and Darren want to say thank you and to give something back by fundraising for Candlelighters, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Martin House Children’s Hospice and CLIC Sargent.

It goes to show how much support can be provided but also how they are dependent on fundraising. We hope by highlighting their story Clare and Darren will be successful.

New maternity strategy is born

We give a warm welcome to plans announced today to overhaul the support given to pregnant women in Leeds.

More than 10,000 births take place in Leeds every year, but the service provided to women needs updating and modernising.

Following a listening campaign, a new strategy has been unveiled to give, among other things, more personalised care. a new Baby Buddy app will be created and a focus to make the birth process more positive.

It can be a difficult and is certainly an emotional time for parents so this new strategy will help to make it a more enjoyable experience, which is to be welcomed.