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Families touched by the loss of a baby or infant supported for memorial weekend

Published: 11 November 2020

Families are being invited to get involved with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s annual ‘baby and young children remembrance weekend’ which normally takes place on the first weekend in December.

The event usually sees families invited into the hospital to remember, reflect and take part in activities during the weekend, but despite the restrictions in place the occasion will still be marked and honoured.

Staff from the Trust’s maternity unit, chaplaincy services and children’s community nursing team, together with some local parents, have planned the remembrance weekend. Instead of a craft morning at the hospital, families can request to receive a craft pack which will mean they can take part in the activities at home.

As it is not possible to gather as a congregation, the service will be recorded for families to access. A special part of the service is remembering each little one individually with a name or message on a star. Families can ask for their little one’s star to be read out as part of the service and then hung on the “star tree” in the Chapel.

Sam Payne, Midwife at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The loss of a baby or child can affect everyone in the family – brothers, sisters and grandparents as well as the parents themselves. This weekend provides an opportunity to find ways of remembering little ones and acknowledging how they have touched our lives. Many families have found it a helpful weekend, whether their loss was in recent months, or in years past. The adaptations we have made to the event this year ensures that families still have the opportunity to reflect and remember and know that others are thinking about them.”

Martin Manley, Co-ordinating Chaplain at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, added: “For many years, we have held a special weekend for families who have experienced baby loss. This year, we will have to remember in a slightly different way but it is so important that these most painful of losses are not overlooked.

“These are such difficult experiences, and we hope that an opportunity to remember our little ones in this way will bring some comfort.

“Christmas is always a poignant time for anyone who has lost someone dear, and brings conflicting emotions particularly when parents have other children for whom they want Christmas to be a happy time. Families have often found this weekend a helpful step in dealing with their grief.”

Families who would like to receive a craft pack, have their little one’s star read out or are looking for further information are asked to email Ceri Morris or call the Trust’s Chaplaincy team on 01803 656406 before Friday 27 November 2020. The service will be available to view on Sunday 6 December

The weekend is open to all those who have experienced the loss of a baby or young child, in pregnancy or in the early years of life.