A Jersey celebrant who sadly lost a child during pregnancy has committed to donating all his profits to a local charity dedicated to supporting bereaved parents - and has already donated £20,000.
In his day job, Kenan Osborne works as one of the founding directors at Magellan Consultancy but four years ago he started out on a whole new vocation.
Following a new marriage law introduced in 2018, celebrants were allowed to officially register to perform non-religious wedding ceremonies.
Kenan said: "I had a few friends who saw that the law was going to change and they said, 'If this law comes in in time for our weddings, would you marry us?'"
However, it wasn't is simple as that.
Kenan admitted: "I initially thought it was going to be like in America where you register for each wedding you perform, but no! There was an interview where you had to explain your business case, there was formal training to go through, then you had to pass your qualifications and, at the end of it, you get a licence for a five-year period."
Once he became a fully-licensed celebrant, known as the Jersey 'Se Marier', Kenan made a bold decision.
"I thought it would be great instead to donate my time and all the funds to charity," he said. "I have my own business so I don't need the extra income, I just want to give a bit back to charity."
Kenan added: "It's the best way to spend a day, I get to marry people and give something to charity!"
Pictured: Kenan Osborne, or the Jersey Se Marier, has donated £20,000 to local charity Philip's Footprints.
As such, Kenan approached Jo Nash, the founder of Philip's Footprints.
"Jo thought I was a bit mad when I told her what I was going to do," he laughed.
Philip's Footprints is a Jersey based charity that was set up to provide support to those affected by the loss of a baby or child, offering comfort in memory boxes, remembrance services, bereavement counselling and one-to-one support, as well as regular support meetings.
In the UK it is estimated that a quarter of pregnancies end in loss, so the charity also aims to improve the outcomes for babies and started their 'Safer Pregnancy Projects’ in 2015.
Philip's Footprints now also funds professional training, antenatal equipment and information to reduce the stillbirth and premature birth rate, and complications at birth.
The choice of charity was a particularly personal one for Kenan, as he and his wife lost a child during pregnancy.
He said: "Back then, there was no one to support us. We were sort of just told to go away and try again. It can be a really tough time for people."
When Kenan came to choose a charity to donate his celebrant funds to, Philip's Footsteps "was the first one that came to mind".
Pictured: Philip's Footsteps aim to to improve the outcomes for babies, fund professional training, antenatal equipment and information for pregnant women, to reduce the stillbirth and premature birth rate and complications at birth.
Kenan is now the full-time Chair of the charity and, after performing over 50 wedding ceremonies, he has donated £20,000 worth of his profits to the organisation.
"I had hoped to do more, but covid got in the way!" he added.
To follow this up, Kenan is now aiming to be able to make a donation of £40,000.
Jo Nash, the founder of Philip's Footprints, praised Kenan's contributions: “As a small Jersey charity we rely heavily on the support of our community and we were delighted when Kenan reached out to us with his fundraising idea.
"You have to understand, this is not a one-off event it’s an ongoing commitment. We know that he regularly puts in a great deal of time to make sure every ceremony is absolutely perfect for the happy couple. To have raised £20,000 is an enormous achievement and we are just so very grateful to him for supporting Philip’s Footprints.
"Kenan brings with him a wealth of experience from both the business and charity sector and this has been really helpful to keep us focussed on responsibilities and regulations and to take the charity forward."
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