Family release balloons to celebrate legacy of beloved son and brother

Family release balloons to celebrate legacy of beloved son and brother

May 08, 2017

A family from Ipswich have celebrated raising £7,000 for EACH in memory of a beloved son and brother.

Jonathan and Joanne Rawlings and their newborn son Joshua James were joined by members of their wider family to release balloons at The Treehouse on Friday, 28 April.

They chose the date specifically as it would have been the first birthday of James Rawlings. The tot suffered severe complications at birth and was transferred from Ipswich to Norwich hospitals.

EACH helped Jonathan, 40, General Manager at Precision Cargo Services in Felixstowe, and Joanne, 34, Assistant Manager at the Ipswich branch of DJ Evans (Bury) Ltd, make some precious memories with James before his life support machine was switched off but, against all odds, he kept breathing.

The family were then offered a place at The Treehouse, which they gratefully accepted. They spent five days there and James’ parents were shown how to care for him, as he required feeding through a tube and various medicines.

Finally, they were able to spend five days at home. James sadly died on 16th May - aged just 19 days.

Since then the family have organised barn dances and online auctions to add to money collected for EACH at James’ funeral, with friends adding to their fundraising total by climbing Ben Nevis and taking part in the Great North Run.

Jonathan says: “EACH have embraced us into their family and we’re supported as little or as much as we want. They’re like a loving parent – there when you need them to guide you through the things in life you never think you’ll be able to handle.

“The biggest compliment I can pay is that, if we hadn’t received the help and kindness EACH provided by wrapping their arms around us and helping us to heal and progress after this heart-wrenching chapter of our lives, our newborn son and James’ little brother Joshua James wouldn’t be here today.

“There’re no words or sums of money we could come up with to ever pay back the outstanding care we received.”

Jonathan and Joanne continue to receive bereavement counselling and so their fundraising continues.

The former will be running the Ipswich Colour Dash on Sunday, 28 May at Christchurch Park. The five-kilometre (3.1-mile) fun run begins at 11am - more details at

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  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS


Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB


Quidenham , Norwich,
Norfolk, NR16 2PH