"Hi, I’m Michelle. I founded Little Miracles back in 2010. I live with my husband Paul and our three children. We have a very normal, happy family life.
However, my experiences are not what I dreamt my normal, happy family life would be.
Oliver was born severely disabled. During my pregnancy the doctors told me that he was in a state “incompatible with life”. They said Oliver’s life, if he were to make it that far, would not be a life worth living. At 35 weeks pregnant I felt pressured into terminating his life. We were made to think it would be the kindest thing for Oliver. As a family we decided that for however long Oliver was to live that he would know he was loved.
Oliver spent 15 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before he could finally come home with us to Peterborough. I quickly had to adjust to the 'new normal'. Looking after Oliver was hard however it was the isolation that was crippling. My family and friends could not relate to what I was going through, my social circles broke down... I felt totally alone.
My story is far from unique. 7% of children in the UK are born with a disability. There are over 1 million families like mine, each with their own struggles, ambitions and stories to tell. Yet the families we meet often tell us that they feel alone and isolation is the hardest battle they face.
Little Miracles exists to ensure families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions can access the care and support they need and connect with each other in confidence and without judgement.
We started back in 2010 with the belief that no family should have to feel as alone as I did. From very humble beginnings as a drop-in support group we have grown into a network of 14 branches supporting thousands of children and their families."
In 2013 we were very fortunate to work with BBC Children In Need and DIY SOS team and created our purpose-built centre, The Spinney, which remains our Head Office in Peterborough.