NHS Staff from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) alongside the East Cumbria, Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) and Copeland Borough Council have been involved in a range of events to support those who have been affected by the loss of a baby.

The events included a memorial service, coffee mornings and lighting up the courtyard at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, The Candlestick in Whitehaven and Distington Hall Crematorium in pink and blue.

Andrea Ewing, Bereavement Midwife said “That it has been an honour to hold these events to uphold the memories for all the families who have suffered a pregnancy/baby loss in North Cumbria. The memorial service in the Chapel at the Cumberland Infirmary gave parents the opportunity to reflect on their baby losses and to allow time to talk after the service with a cup of tea and biscuits. The coffee morning at Morton Manor allowed for an informal gathering where parents and families could talk and meet others who could share their stories.  Children were made welcome as they could decorate a candle holder and a tree decoration in memory of their lost siblings.”

A special poem entitled Little Butterfly by Amy Farquar was read out by Andrea.

A global ‘wave of light’ was held at 7pm on 15th October whereby anyone, anywhere, who wanted to recognise a loss, could light a candle and leave it burning for at least one hour and post a photo of the candle to social media using #WaveOfLight. 

Distington Hall Crematorium also held a special event to mark the week with a memorial service last night (Tuesday 15 October) which gave parents, family members and friends the chance commemorate their babies. Those attending were given the opportunity to light a candle as part of the global Wave of Light. A tree was in the crematorium’s foyer to which ribbons and messages could be attached.

Carla Christian, the event’s organiser, said: “We have held services at the crematorium at Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all were well received. This one was slightly different and following on from the memorial service, there were a number of support groups and charities on hand to provide help and information in a friendly and informal environment.”

The charity Sands supports anyone affected by death of a baby; works to improve bereavement care and funds research to save babies lives.

They hold monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month from 7pm -8.30pm at the Cornerstones café in Denton Holme Carlisle. To find out more please contact eastcumbria@sands.org.uk or telephone 07923480416 or Visit Facebook – East Cumbria SANDS.