The couple, who set up Forever Stars in 2013, will now see their names displayed on one of the city’s trams as NET marked its annual Community Heroes award.
The pair founded the charity following the loss of their baby daughter, Emily, who was stillborn. Last year the organisation raised over £100,000 to build and equip the ‘Serenity Suite’, a bereavement facility for parents of stillborn babies and neonatal baby loss at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
Stephanie Moss-Pearce, NET’s Assistant Marketing Manager, said: “Tram number 222 is kept aside to honour community heroes as we celebrate the tram network’s birthday each year. We think Michelle and Richard, whose work has helped so many other grieving parents across Nottingham, are a really deserving couple and if it helps to keep their charity in the local spotlight so much the better.
“The tram naming builds on our strong ties with Nottingham’s hospitals. Once again we’re supporting this year’s Nurse & Midwife of the Year Awards, whilst work has also recently begun on the dedicated bridge walkway from our QMC stop directly into the hospital.”
Along with the tram naming, Forever Stars is set take part in a number of fundraising activities across the network throughout the year and the charity hopes to raise enough money to start building a bereavement suite at the City Hospital in Nottingham.
Richard Daniels Co-Founder of Forever Stars, said: “Michelle and I are very honoured to have been given the NET Community Hero Award, the City of Nottingham have really taken Forever Stars to their hearts and helped us develop the support for bereaved families in Nottingham.
“The tram naming, is not only a recognition for Michelle and I but also to all the many people that have helped with Forever Stars. Over the next 12 months we will look forward to working with NET and the people of Nottingham as we try to lift the taboo of talking about stillbirth and raise money towards our second bereavement suite.”
Michelle and Richard’s names replace that of Barbara White, the founder of When You Wish Upon A Star, who was recognised as NET’s first Community Hero 12 months ago.
The tram naming ceremony also marked a special date for network itself as it celebrated the anniversary of its opening on 9 March 2004.
Councillor Nick McDonald of Nottingham City Council commented: “Michelle and Richard are a true inspiration. It’s only fitting that their names will feature on this year’s Community Hero Nottingham Tram, and that this recognition might help to raise awareness of the Forever Stars charity. We‘re really proud that their hard work and dedication to support others has been recognised in this way.”