A Message From Ann ...

About Ann Farmer, Founder of Children Are Butterflies

“My name is Ann, and I am a Funeral Director, a partner in my family’s business B Hollowell & Son based in Abington in Northampton. I began working for the company in 1991 and qualified as a Funeral Director in 1995.

I have been where you are today, I have lost children at various gestational periods from 6 to 21 weeks. Each time the pain was unbearable and I was left with so many questions. Why me? Was it something I did? Was it my fault? Nature can be cruel and quite often there is no answer, sometimes life is unfair and there are events that we can have no control over.

On the positive side, out of all the heartache I have two beautiful daughters who are my inspiration and I have met many many families who have suffered tragedy but then gone on to receive the gift of beautiful children.”

 Why Butterflies?

“As children we were always told by our Grandma that we were not to be afraid of dying. She would take us into the garden and show us the butterflies gently floating in the warm air. She explained to us that when you die you become a butterfly, a delicate creature that is gentle, unique and beautiful.

As we have grown into adults we have told our children the same story and it has now become part of the Hollowell belief that when you die you become a butterfly.

I could think of no better name for the service that we offer to families who have lost a child ~ Children Are Butterflies.”


Essie Hollowell “Our Grandma and Grandma to All.”

The Charity’s Objectives


Children Are Butterflies work for the public benefit to relieve some of the burden to families in times of emotional and financial hardship following the death of a child.

Our principal objectives are:

  1. The provision of financial relief to families in the UK who are in the unfortunate position of having to organise the funeral of a child. This relief comes in the form of Funeral Disbursements Grants.
  2. Promotion of the Charity and the work we do, to increase the awareness and understanding of the plight that bereaved families find themselves in, particularly to Funeral and Health Professionals.
  3. To build a “Butterfly Community” and encourage mutual support through frank and open discussion between families with similar experiences, in a safe and welcoming environment.


We will achieve these objectives with the following measures:

  1. Provision of financial relief will be granted only:
    1. For funerals of children under the age of 18 years.
    2. To families resident in the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    3. Upon receipt of an application form that has been completed in full, with all the disbursements listed and verified by the family’s Funeral Director.
    4. In respect of Standard Funeral Disbursements.
      1. Standard funeral disbursements are: Church fees, minister fees, organist fees, cemetery fees, crematorium fees, doctors’ fees.
        (It is usual for these fees to be waived or reduced for a child’s funeral.)
      2. Standard funeral disbursements ARE NOT: Funeral Director professional fees, funeral printing, vehicles, flowers, press notices, memorials, catering and anything else, considered by the trustees, not to be essential to a basic funeral.
    5. To a maximum value capped at £1000 per funeral.
  2. Promotion of the Charity will be achieved by:
    1. An active presence on social media.
    2. An informative and effective website.
    3. Publicity within the Funeral Industry.
    4. Publicity within Bereavement Services.
    5. Exploiting opportunities within the media.
    6. Word of Mouth.
  3. The “Butterfly Community” will be encouraged through:
    1. The existing forum on the website.
    2. The Annual Butterfly Release, and other events local to Northampton.
    3. Support to those in the wider Butterfly Community who may wish to organise events in other areas.
    4. A “closed” Facebook Group.