Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ Charity urge local businesses and community to show support for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2022

Baby Loss Awareness Week, now in its 20th year, is an opportunity for everyone who has experienced this kind of bereavement to come together to remember and commemorate much-loved and missed little ones.

The week also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of pregnancy and baby loss, the importance that bereavement support plays in the ongoing bereavement journey, and of the vital work that is needed to improve pregnancy outcomes and to save babies’ lives.

The hospital charity, which supports Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI), Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital, launched the ‘Serenity Appeal’ in February of this year to make major enhancements and improvements to its bereavement services within maternity.

Healthcare professionals at the Trust are hoping to raise £150,000, money which will fund a dedicated bereavement suite at DRI, a mobile ultrasound scanner for the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPAU) at Bassetlaw Hospital and refurbishments to two counselling rooms for services across both sites.

As the namesake and centrepiece of the appeal, the ‘Serenity Suite’ will be a designated space at DRI for families to stay if they have experienced a bereavement, allowing them to spend time with, and mourn, the loss of their new-born. It will be a self-contained and sound-proofed environment, equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, soft furnishings and lightings, all of which will help support families during a highly sensitive time.

Throughout the week, the charity, alongside the Trusts Bereavement Midwives and Early Pregnancy Unit Team will be visiting locations across Doncaster & Bassetlaw. This will include Lakeside Shopping Centre and Morrison’s stores in Doncaster, Retford & Worksop to provide support to local families and raise awareness of The Serenity Appeal.

Alongside these stands, the charity will run various events including a 12-hour walk followed by a lantern walk in partnership with Sands United South Yorkshire on Saturday 8 October. There will be a charity concert organised by Thorne Rural Lions on Sunday 9 October and the week will end with its second skydive on Friday 14 October.

Full details of locations the charity will be visiting and events can be found here: https://dbthcharity.co.uk/blaw2022/

In addition to these activities, the charity is working with local companies and key landmarks across the community asking them to light pink and blue throughout the duration of the week alongside the hospitals.

Alternatively, participants are requested to illuminate on the 15th October, or just the hour between 19:00-20:00 on the 15th October to join in with the global Wave of Light.

Rhian Morris, Bereavement Midwife from Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “I hope that our Baby Loss Awareness Week activities will spark conversations about baby loss and give local bereaved parents and families an opportunity to talk about their precious babies, whilst supporting The Serenity Appeal.

“To date, with thanks to the community that surrounds us, we’ve raised over £80,000 towards the appeal but still have a long way to go to help us reach our final target of £150,000 and we urge you to consider supporting Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Charity during this week to help us continue to raise funds towards the appeal”

Local businesses, schools and community groups can get involved by organising awareness activities within their workplace throughout the week or hosting fundraising activities to help raise funds for The Serenity Appeal. For support please contact the charities fundraising team on dbth.charity@nhs.net.

To find out how you can support Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Charity, please visit: https://dbthcharity.co.uk/serenity-appeal/. For more on how to raise awareness of baby loss please visit: https://babyloss-awareness.org/.

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