A bereaved mum is swapping bubbly for bubbles and planning a poignant hen party with a difference. Rather than hitting the town, Deborah Goddard is rallying friends and family and taking part in East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) Norwich Bubble Rush.
She wants to raise funds for the charity as it supported her following the death of her baby daughter in April 2022. Jovie was just a year and 11 days old and, afterwards, Deborah and her family spent time making memories at The Nook.
Now she wants to give something back and is looking forward to a day of a foam-filled fundraising on 16th July.
“There are 18 of us in the team and we’re all looking forward to it,” said photographer Deborah, who is marrying Jovie’s dad, fiancé Chris, on 19th August.
“My Matron of Honour has been the main organiser and she knew I didn’t want a traditional hen party. I didn’t want to go out – that’s just not me – but this seemed like a fun, meaningful way to say thank you and show support.
“As soon as I saw the advert, I knew it was what I wanted to do. EACH has become a massive part of our lives and we’re happy to do whatever we can to help.
“It feels like my daughter will be part of the celebrations and that’s very important to me. It’s like we’ll be together on the day.”
Jovie had a severe brain condition that was detected during pregnancy. She defied the odds by living for over a year and after her death at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, she moved to The Nook. Her family were able to create precious memories and spend time together.
“It was an incredibly tough time,” said Lowestoft-based Deborah.
“Jovie did amazingly and we feel blessed to have had a year together, because she wasn’t expected to live that long. EACH was there in the background when she was alive, in terms of helping with symptom management.
“Then, after she passed, we had the chance to spend some days at the hospice. It was still a shock, despite being expected, and gave us an opportunity to process everything that was going on.
“We felt looked after. My other daughter, Tallulla, was supported and got the attention she deserved and we had the chance to bath and dress Jovie. We made hand and footprint casts, creating precious memories that I’ll forever hold close to my heart.
“It wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, so I’ll always be grateful.”
Deborah and Tallulla, now 14, continue to receive bereavement support at The Nook. They also attend events at the hospice with Jovie’s Dad and their other children, including Memory Days.
“It’s lovely having a place where Jovie will always be remembered,” added Deborah.
“It makes me feel that I’m not alone in my grief.”
To show your support and sponsor Deborah, click here. A record number of participants – more than 2,000 – have signed up for this year’s Bubble Rush.
The event raised an incredible £43,500 last year but this summer’s version has a new home as it taking place at the Norwich Showground. There will be food stalls and face glitter painting.
The course once again features four bubble stations along a 2.5km route. Participants can do one lap or double their enjoyment by completing the circuit twice.
Each bubble station has a cannon which pumps out coloured foam to create a four-foot deep bubble bath. Click here for more details of EACH’s fun-filled 2023 Events calendar.