A property solicitor in Warwick has raised £1,500 for Tommy’s, the baby charity, with the help of supporters by pushing himself to the limits in a 100-mile February fundraiser.
Arvi Samra started his business, Samra Legal Ltd., at the end of 2022 and decided to support this heartfelt charity due to personal experience. Tommy’s is a research and support charity for baby loss. It raises awareness of why miscarriage happens, if it is likely to happen again, how to prevent it and appropriate aftercare. Initially, Arvi set a target of 100 kilometres as he thought that was a more achievable target. He soon realised he could do more, raised the bar, and escalated his impact. Supporters then surpassed his £300 goal, which he reset to £500, then £800, until he eventually reached 154% of his target.
‘Arvi’s 100 Miles Run for Tommys’ fundraiser remains open so that contributors continue to add to the total. The baby loss challenge became a timely nudge from Arvi to take part in Angela Crawley’s government petition to ‘Introduce paid miscarriage leave for parents who experience pregnancy loss.’. Signatories requested parliament to consider parents who lose a pregnancy before 24 weeks as eligible to take three days of paid bereavement leave. This proposed entitlement would be an act of compassion and provide a time to grieve.
As part of Arvi’s challenge, he spent several hours running 70-80 miles around the Warwick Racecourse. This family-friendly route is a 2.8km circular path that follows the perimeter of the race track. Arvi’s impressive racecourse achievement is then added to running a half marathon of 13 miles around Warwick and Leamington, as well as various other local runs. Arvi is used to taking exercise; however, he is more familiar with going to the gym and riding his bike. With his goal in sight, he regularly updated his friends and family on social media. On his first day of the run, he explained that it was great to see the sunrise and how it is essential in our busy schedules to have time away from the desk to focus the mind.
According to Tommy’s charity, miscarriage is the most common cause of pregnancy loss in the UK and is also one of the least understood. Women often go through three miscarriages before any clinical investigation can be carried out. Research can help to prevent early miscarriage and give hope to those who have lost a child through this heartbreaking experience. It is the best chance to change the situation.
5,500 signatories petitioned to introduce permitted time off work for miscarriages as a consideration for debate in parliament. Currently, workers are entitled to two weeks of paid bereavement leave following a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Grieving parents who have lost a baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy after less than 24 weeks are not covered by any such provision and must rely on either unpaid or sick leave if they feel unable to return to work following their pregnancy loss.
About his running challenge, Arvi said, “Tommy’s charitable work is close to my heart. We all know someone who has been touched by miscarriage, so I wanted to help contribute to the charity’s vital research. There is heartbreak and so many questions in the event of baby loss, and so we need further research, more support and stories of hope for those who experience a miscarriage.”
Arvi’s paths crossed with Keeley Lengthorn, Family Solicitor and avid baby loss campaigner who supports the Miscarriage Leave Bill. After suffering three losses herself under 24 weeks, the most recent of which was her son George who was born sleeping at 22 and a half weeks in March 2022.
Ms Lengthorn says, “The Law as it currently stands means that when I left George at the mortuary, I had to return to work at 9 am the very next day. Businesses having a baby loss policy in place and supporting the Miscarriage Leave Bill goes to the heart and core of a firm’s well-being policy and shows employee support which can only be positive in terms of businesses reputation and will aid recruitment and retention. Any SSP entitlement does not kick in until day three, and so the three days being proposed by the Miscarriage Leave Bill would fill this gap in offering this statutory protection. The statistics speak for themselves that miscarriage happens to 1 in 4 people. That’s 1 in 4 MPs and 1 in 4 constituents”.