A Little Sutton mum who took the heartbreak of losing her baby son and channeled it into something which helps others in a similar position has been shortlisted for a national award. 

Nicole Bowles is in the running for a Tommy’s Award, presented by baby charity Tommy’s. 

The 33-year-old is up for the the Sling Studio Mum’s Voice Award, which celebrates a mum who has spoken out about her own pregnancy experience and given hope to others.

After experiencing miscarriages and losing her son Ben at four months old in a tragic accident, Nicole – who is originally from Scotland but now lives in Little Sutton – has gone on to raise awareness around baby loss. 

She founded a campaign that supports bereaved parents by equipping them with a badge which signals that they have lost their child. The badge shows a purple heart shape with a missing jigsaw piece, and is a way for a community of parents who have lost their children to unite and take control of the conversation. 

The badge campaign was launched in the Scottish Parliament last year and garnered lots of attention from press and supporters.

Out of the campaign, Nicole launched a website, Our Missing Piece, which reaches out to parents in similar situations and works to break down the taboo of losing a baby. 

The site says that Nicole – now a mum of three – wants parents to be able to talk about their loss and not feel awkward when other people do not speak of their lost child’s name. 

Nicole is campaigning for the word ‘Vilomah’, which describes a parent who has lost their child, to be added to the Oxford Dictionary.

She continues to speak out on behalf of other parents who are going through similar situations and her campaigns have gained significant momentum.

Nicole’s MP, Justin Madders, discussed Our Missing Piece during Baby Loss Awareness week and Scottish politicians, such as Nicola Sturgeon, have gone on to wear the purple badge during First Minister’s Questions.

Tragedy struck in 2012 when Nicole and husband Dan lost their second son, Ben, in an accident. Nicole was walking home from the shops with her children in a pram when a bag of chicken fillets slipped from the top of the pram and on to Ben's face, smothering him and starving him of oxygen.

When Nicole realised what had happened, she immediately started giving her son CPR – but it was too late.

Now in its 23rd year, the Tommy’s Awards recognise individuals and families who have have been touched by pregnancy complications, or the loss of a baby. Each year in the UK, one in four parents lose a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. Every year, 60,000 babies are born prematurely. 

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on March 16 at the Landmark Hotel in London.