Going the distance in memory of baby Mimi as her funeral director

Victoria Fallon, Funeral Director at William H Painter Funeral Directors in Birmingham, walked 10,000 steps a day for a month to raise funds for life-limited and life-threatened children after conducting the funeral of a baby called Mimi.

Mimi was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a severe congenital defect leaving the left side of the heart underdeveloped. Victoria had the honour of conducting her funeral in January 2021 and built a strong relationship with her family.

Victoria was inspired to take on the 10,000 steps per day challenge by Acorns Children’s Hospice, the specialist palliative care provider, after Mimi’s family chose the charity as the recipient of donations related to their child’s funeral.

Victoria was able to meet her daily target as part of her work, however she needed to get creative at the weekends. She said: “I handle and take care of horses outside of work so completing my steps in the week was relatively easy. At the weekends, however, I needed to combine lots of local walks with trips to the shops, as well as walking longer routes.

“I have a steps counter on my phone, so keeping track of my daily total was easy.”

Colleagues, friends, neighbours and even strangers rallied to help Victoria beat her fundraising goal of £500 by donating £530, most of which was donated through her Facebook Fundraiser.

She said: “The support I received was incredible. I suffered a serious back injury in 2019 so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete the challenge. But thinking of how much Mimi fought inspired me to get up and keep moving.”

Victoria hopes to continue fundraising once lockdown restrictions have eased completely and she is able to carry out more activities in the local community.

She concluded: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported me and donated. I know it meant a lot to Mimi’s family and knowing the funds I raised will go on to support other heroic children like her inspires me to keep going.”

Victoria’s fundraising is now complete but for more information about Acorns Children’s Hospice and the work they do, or to donate to them directly, visit: https://www.acorns.org.uk/