New beginnings for NHS charity’s Purple Butterfly Appeal

A new bereavement suite created to provide comfort to parents who sadly lose a baby has finally been completed as a result of generous donations to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s successful Purple Butterfly Appeal.

Tajamal Khan cutting the ribbon to open the Snowdrop Suite

The charity’s flagship fundraising appeal was launched 13 years ago to raise money to support end of life care and to fund Purple Butterfly rooms at Rotherham Hospital.

The final Purple Butterfly Appeal project saw the existing bereavement facilities on the Labour Ward relocated to the front of the ward, adjacent to reception, to ensure parents who suffer the tragic loss of a child can grieve in privacy. 

The midwives at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust wanted the room to have its own identity so named the room the Snowdrop Suite. It was formally opened by the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Tajamal Khan, at a special event to thank Purple Butterfly Appeal fundraisers. 

Shahida Mehrban, Specialist Bereavement Midwife, said: “The Labour Ward was the first to receive a purpose built bereavement suite following the launch of the Purple Butterfly Appeal, so it has always been a cause we feel passionately proud about. 

“As our busy hospital environment has evolved it felt more appropriate to have an easily accessible suite away from the main ward area, where should the worst happen, a family can spend time together in private. Enhancing our environment in this way helps us to provide much needed compassionate care. 

“It’s wonderful to see the room completed and we’re proud to see the Mayor formally open it with some of the amazing fundraisers who have made it all possible.” 

Following the launch of the Purple Butterfly Appeal, Trust colleagues, community groups, businesses and individuals took it to their hearts, collectively raising almost £693,500 since 2009. 

This incredible amount of money has enabled the charity to fund three additional Purple Butterfly rooms on wards A2, B11 and Fitzwilliam. 

The charity has ambitions to raise more money for the patients and families cared for in the community, at Rotherham Hospital and throughout the region. 

To make way for an exciting new fundraising campaign in 2023, the Purple Butterfly Appeal will be replaced by Purple Butterfly In Memory Giving. 

Purple Butterfly In Memory Giving will also enable families who have sadly lost a loved one the opportunity to continue to donate in their memory. 

Celebrating the life of someone a family has lost is a way to continue their legacy for years to come. Remembering a loved one will be as unique and special as they were.

While the charity won’t be fundraising for any additional Purple Butterfly rooms, the funds already raised will be spent on the upkeep of the existing rooms, ensuring they continue to be comforting and valued spaces for generations to come. 

There are many ways families and friends can support The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust in their memory and support patients and families receiving care at the hospital. Donations from funeral or memorial services, taking on one of our charity events in memory of you loved one, setting up a tribute fund or investing in an engraved leaf for our Snowdrop memory tree are all ways to celebrate your loved ones life. 

Money donated to Purple Butterfly In Memory Giving in future will be spent on end of life care and the existing Purple Butterfly rooms if necessary, but will primarily be used where there is the greatest need, and to enhance the care provided to all patients across all Trust sites. 

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising, said: “For the past 13 years people from Rotherham and beyond have donated money in memory of their loves ones, many of which will have spent time in our Purple Butterfly rooms. Every penny donated has enabled us to create spaces for people nearing the end of their lives and their families, or who have lost a baby, to spend time together in comfort and privacy when time is most precious.

“We couldn’t be more grateful – thank you. 

“We hope the new in memory giving fund will inspire people to donate in memory of their loved ones so we can do more to support the Trust and enhance the care provided to patients from Rotherham and beyond.”

Donations to Purple Butterfly In Memory Giving can be made in person at the Charity Hub in the main entrance at Rotherham Hospital – based opposite Boots.

Alternatively, donations can be made via Just Giving, by cheque or by bank transfer. 

Kath Copp, Chair of the Purple Butterfly Special Events Committee, said: “I was one of 15 people who fundraised for the appeal with support from our patrons Lord and Lady Scarbrough. They generously invited us to use their beautiful home to host events and we organised raffles, afternoon tea parties and fashion shows. We all really enjoyed the camaraderie and are proud of what we’ve helped to achieve.”

If you would like advice or support on giving in memory please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rachael or Suzanne in the Fundraising Team on 01709 426821 or via