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York Hospital champions baby loss support for local parents

Baby loss awareness_York Hospital illuminated

09 October 2019

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York Hospital will show its support for Baby Loss Awareness week this October by once again turning the lights on the hospital blue and pink, to help highlight the emotional impact of pregnancy and baby loss. The hospital has also revealed plans to create a new maternity bereavement suite.

Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) is an opportunity for bereaved parents, and their families and friends, to unite with others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives.

On Tuesday 15 October from 17:15, bereaved parents are invited to come to York Hospital chapel and light a candle in remembrance of their babies where they can write a message to their little one for the prayer tree. The first hour is for families and the second hour is a quiet, reflective hour. Refreshments will be available.

There are around 50 families a year who will sadly suffer a loss of their baby at York Hospital and a brand new maternity bereavement suite is planned at York Hospital to support these families.

Beverley Shelley, maternity bereavement midwife, said: “We know from talking to families who have used our existing space how important these facilities are. Having a new maternity bereavement suite will give our families the best possible experience at one of the worst times of their lives.

"It will provide somewhere they feel safe and cared for where families can make memories to last a lifetime.”

This year York Teaching Hospital Charity also adds its weight to Baby Loss Awareness week with the launch of a grand raffle in aid of the Butterfly Appeal which will help fund the new suite.

York Teaching Hospital Charity is just £70k short of the £250,000 appeal target and hopes to top it up with fundraising from the raffle.

Rachel Brook, fundraising manager, said: “We have been bowled over by the generosity of local businesses who have donated some fantastic prizes. There is everything from holidays to afternoon teas to spas and a whole selection of fabulous meals and days out.

“Thank you to all our donators, and particularly to the stillbirth and neonatal charity SANDS and the Friends of York Hospital, who are contributing from their own funds to help create the maternity bereavement suite.”

Baby Loss Awareness week culminates on 15 October with the global ‘Wave of Light’ when families across the world are invited to take part by lighting a candle at 7pm and leave it burning to join in remembering all babies that have died too soon.

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