Leo’s is an award-winning neonatal mental health charity based in the NE of England.
We have been caring for families since 2018, and what a journey it has been.
We have evolved significantly during that time. In our inception we began by offering counselling, in the NICU peer support, welcome boxes, vCreate and heartbeat bears to name but a few.
In our first year we launched the world’s first awareness week, dedicated to neonatal mental health – Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week.
When the world was plunged into lockdown due to COVID-19, we adapted and found new ways of working – mainly online and remotely, we also saw, a huge rise in mental health worries.
Our new ways of working, and extensive funding, allowed us to completely revamp Leo’s, and create our dream service.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we as a service grew by 400% in need – which highlighted very clearly, that neonatal mental health and well-being was an area to be invested in.
Our work was recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and saw us in receipt of the Points of Light Award.
Once COVID had calmed down and life began to resume to some level of normality, we saw that the rise in mental health worries was not slowing down, and that our specific services and skills were needed more than ever.
In 2022 we decided to change the way we worked, bringing as much of our services in house as possible.
This allowed us to not only just care for parents, but for the infants and children in our care too.
Now, our team work through both a Trauma Informed and Sensory Informed Lens, meaning we will always take into account, why you may feel the way you do.
Trauma shapes our sensory systems, and our sensory systems and trauma shape us each day, it informs the way react to situations, and the way we see and view the world.
We want to make sure we understand both of these crucial elements when families are in our care – always ensuring that they get the best most rounded care, using expertise of different fields.
In 2023 we were commissioned by The Department of Education and The Department of Health & Social Care’s Family Hub Transformation Project to provide specialist perinatal mental health to families who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss.
Our current funding allows us to provide support to families living within Redcar & Cleveland, and Middlesbrough postcodes only. We are hoping this expands in the future, as we know the need will be so much greater than these two areas.
If you are a family or a health care professional from other geographical areas in the North East, please still get in touch, your voice will help us prove the need to expand this support service.
“An experience of collective pain does not deliver us from grief or sadness; it is a ministry of presence. These moments remind us that we are not alone in our darkness and that our broken heart is connected to every heart that has known pain since the beginning of time.”
Leo’s was born out of lived-experience of baby loss. We know first-hand what it’s like to have a pregnancy not go to plan, to be given a devastating diagnosis, and to have to say goodbye.
At its heart, Leo’s was set up to support the wellbeing of neonatal families, based off the experience of its founding members, this theme has continued to flourish and grow in the last four years. Now, thanks to funding, we are able to hold, nuture and care for a wider number of families who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss. We feel incredibly humbled to have been given this opportunity to support families during their hardest moments.
The team caring for you either has lived experience, or has worked with bereavement care.
We don’t just use our experiences to shape what we do here. Every family who has referred into Leo’s, or used a service, has helped shape the work we do. Every family leaves a legacy with us, which helps us create change and supportive services for the next family that needs us.
We are always learning (you can never know too much!), always wanting to do more, and always wanting to make sure, no one feels like we did.
Having no support after a loss can be devastating, isolating and impact heavily, the way you heal.
At Leo’s, you’re never alone, your worries and stresses are cared for, you get at tribe of wonderful people ready to welcome you and take great care of you.
Our Mission & Vision
Our motto at Leo’s is ‘We’ve Got You’, we hold families whilst going through some of the worst experiences of their lives.
Advocates for early intervention
To ensure families within our perinatal baby loss service care in Redcar & Cleveland, and Middlesbrough can access specialist mental health and well-being support when they need to.
To offer enhanced and innovative trauma and sensory informed care to families within Leo’s service, and position Leo’s as a leader in its field.
Offering compassionate and trauma informed care, using lived-expertise to shape the work we do, providing ample opportunities for early intervention and being a voice for change.