A world-renowned Huddersfield tailor is making 26 limited edition charity suits to raise money for the town’s children’s hospice … and one will be worn by a dad whose daughter was lovingly cared for there.

Antich Fine English Tailors is making the 26 light grey suits which will raise just over £5,000 for the Forget Me Not Hospice in Brackenhall and each suit will feature the hospice’s distinctive purple colours in the internal lining, the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice logo embroidered under the collar and a Forget Me Not lapel pin.

The first one is going to 38-year-old Colin Harwood from Fixby who has been a keen supporter of Forget Me Not since 2015 when he and his wife, Emma Jayne, contacted the hospice during her second pregnancy. They had been told at their 20-week scan that their baby Shalome had severe brain abnormalities which might make her “incompatible with life.”

The perinatal and neonatal care team at Forget Me Not helped the family prepare for whatever lay ahead, putting together care plans based on all possible outcomes.

When the time came for Shalome to be born the family were told at the hospital she was not expected to live more than a couple of hours and so they took her to the hospice to spend what they thought would be their last few hours with her.

It turned out Shalome (below) had other plans and she survived those first weeks and lived a happy life until she was four years old when she passed away in December 2019. Shalome’s name and birth date have been embroidered by Antich Fine English Tailors into the internal left side chest panel of Colin’s Forget Me Not suit.

Emma Jayne, who is buying the suit as an early 40th birthday present for Colin, said: “Right from our first engagement with Forget Me Not the whole place was absolutely fantastic and they really gave us hope.

“What was so amazing was that, instead of being tiptoed around and treated with kid gloves like we were at the hospital, at Forget Me Not we were embraced and treated like normal expectant parents with something positive to look forward to.

“We began to prepare to celebrate our baby’s life, however long that might be. It was like the difference between doom and gloom, a grey sky and entering a world in technicolour.

“Shalome’s arrival was a real cause for celebration at the hospice and that meant, and still means, so much to us. Shalome was born quadriplegic so it was touch and go at the start and we spent a week at the hospice doing a mixture of memory making and learning how to care for Shalome’s needs.

“The whole family was able to stay including Shalome’s older sister Faith, who was 18 months old at the time. We were able to invite our family and friends to come and join us at the hospice, making music to Shalome’s heartbeat and hosting family gatherings. We had 20 people there one day.”

Emma Jayne added: “Throughout Shalome’s life Forget Me Not were there for our whole family with respite care, complementary therapy, support for Faith, support during my pregnancy with Shalome’s younger brother Caleb and events and activities like Christmas parties, Eid celebrations and family music days. They were there for us at the end of her life.

“The whole family came and stayed with her at the hospice in her final days and they have been there for us in the months and years after. We have so much to thank Forget Me Not for, we grab every chance we can to help.”

Samantha Steer, retail brand development manager at Antich Fine English Tailors, said: “The idea to create something special for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice was dreamed up some 12 months ago.

“Our managing director, David Antich, has instilled a core value to ensure the business remains community focused from educational outreach to employing local talent.

“With this in mind, I looked at things we could do as a local business with our production and technical capabilities to do good and potentially raise funds and awareness for local charities close to our hearts. Forget Me Not was our first choice.”

Colin said: “People do comment on a nice suit and it’s lovely that I can have a dedication to Shalome embroidered into it. Hopefully, the suit will be a bit of a conversation starter and I can do a bit more to spread the word about the great work they do at Forget Me Not. I think a lot of people don’t realise how privileged we are to have a community asset like Forget Me Not on our doorstep.”

The suits cost around £1,000 each and will be individually fitted to each buyer. Anyone thinking of getting one would need to make an appointment with Antich via the website, emailing shop@cj-antich.com or by phoning 01484 487801.

For more information about Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, visit https://www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk/

For information about Antich Fine English Tailors, see https://antichfinetailors.co.uk/

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.