A COUPLE have raised thousands of pounds in memory of their much-loved little girl.

Teachers Gemma, 32, and Dave Barton, 33, of Kendal, were left heartbroken after their beautiful daughter Betsy was stillborn at 38 weeks last November.

Mrs Barton, who teaches ICT at Kirkbie Kendal School, said they miss their daughter every day and if the money raised could prevent just one couple going through the agony they did then it was worth it.

“Since losing Betsy we’ve been surprised to find out how many people also suffered losses,” she said.

“Having miscarriages and stillborns I think is still seen as a taboo subject and not spoken about enough, we need to change that.”

On Sunday, Mr Barton, who is a PE teacher at Appleby Grammar School, ran the Great North Run, the UK’s biggest half-marathon, alongside his sister Amanda to raise vital funds for Tommy’s, a baby’s charity which researches into the causes of miscarriages, stillbirth and premature birth as well as providing support for parents-to-be.

“This whole process was about achieving two things,” said Mr Barton, “honouring Betsy and raising money and awareness for Tommy’s. I think it’s fair to say we smashed those targets.

“I personally want to thank everyone that has donated and shown their support.”

One in four women will lose a baby in pregnancy and birth, according to Tommy’s charity. And one in every 225 births ends in a still birth.

Mrs Barton, who was due to run too but is now pregnant, said the charity had been “incredible” and “amazing”.

“Tommy’s is such a wonderful charity,” she continued. “I hadn’t heard of it before this and the support they have given us has been incredible.”

The couple have another child called Billy, aged three, who was born early at 33 weeks.

“I just wanted to also say a big thank you to Helme Chase in Kendal and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for everything,” she said.

“The support we’ve had from family and friends has been amazing but I know other people might not be as lucky and so that’s why I want to raise awareness about Tommy’s charity.

“We also wanted to do something in memory of Betsy and help keep her name alive.”

Tommy’s charity has clinics in Manchester, The Placenta Clinic, the UK’s first placenta clinic which opened in 2009 and The Rainbow Clinic, which provides specialist care and support for parents who have suffered a stillbirth or neonatal death.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/betsybarton