The Hearts Milk Bank is planting 600 snowdrop flowers in the shape of a heart outside the milk bank at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden as a way of giving their thanks to bereaved mothers who choose to donate their milk to help another family following the death of their own baby. The snowdrop flower, known as the ‘milk flower’ is the charity’s emblem and each individual snowdrop bulb will be planted to honour one of their bereaved milk donors for their selfless gift. The milk bank, supported by the charity The Human Milk Foundation provides donor human milk to sick premature babies in hospital neonatal intensive care units and to mums at home with cancer and other conditions. Much like donated blood, donor human milk can be life-saving for tiny babies.
The Hearts Milk Bank team closely supports each individual milk donor who chooses to donate their precious gift of donor milk, but this is even more crucial for mums who choose to donate their milk following the death of their baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early death. For these mothers, donating milk can be especially poignant. Dr. Natalie Shenker – Co-Founder of the Hearts Milk Bank said, “We know just how important it can be for mothers to donate, even while coping with the greatest pain, to know that their gift can help others and we extend our deepest thanks to all bereaved milk donors. We are so grateful to Rothamsted for enabling us to create this plantation in their honour and hope that when the Snowdrop Heart blooms in the spring, it will act to remind all of us of the amazing mums who donate milk, even while coping with the greatest pain, to help another family.”
Volunteers from EPSON UK will join members of the Human Milk Foundation team to help plant the snowdrop bulbs. The Human Milk Foundation began a three-year charity partnership with EPSON UK last year, working together on a number of projects. To mark this event, EPSON will also be helping the charity to print thank you cards featuring a design donated by illustrator Emily Culpeper (@culpepercreates) which will be sent to every bereaved milk donor on behalf of the families they have helped. Daniel Quelch, Sustainability Manager, said: “We are humbled to be a part of an initiative that honours such a powerful gesture of selflessness. Engagement within the community has been a cornerstone of EPSON’s partnership with the Human Milk Foundation and we hope this leg of our journey together will raise further awareness of the critical role they are playing for families across the country.”
Situated on a 400-hectare site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, Rothamsted Enterprises is part of the world-renowned Rothamsted Research campus, combining globally important scientific heritage with ground-breaking research and innovations and state-of the art scientific facilities. Rothamsted is home to the world’s longest running field experiments as well as a range of offices and lab spaces, where the Hearts Milk Bank are based. Nicole Sadd, CEO at Rothamsted Enterprises commented: “It is our pleasure to be able to support the Hearts Milk Bank with their snowdrop plantation by providing a quiet, peaceful location here in the grounds of Rothamsted in Harpenden and we look forward to seeing the beautiful snowdrops come to life in future months.”
The snowdrop bulb plantation, situated outside the Daniel Hall Building will be the first in a series of beautiful local sites designed to raise awareness of the importance of milk banking and the life-saving gift of donor milk.
For press enquiries, please contact:
Felicity Webster, Director of Communications | Human Milk Foundation
Address: Daniel Hall Building, Rothamsted Research Institute, Harpenden, Herts AL5 2JQ
01582 314130 or 01582 314131 firstname.lastname@example.org