Oldham marks Baby Loss Awareness Week

Oldham Civic Centre and Royal Oldham Hospital will be illuminated pink and blue to show support for memorial events taking place around the borough as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October).

Gynaecology staff and bereavement midwives at The Royal Oldham Hospital have arranged a number of events and activities to mark the week, including a baby memorial service, a petal shower and a wave of light. 

Oldham Council will be showing its support by lighting up the Civic Centre in Oldham Town Centre in pink and blue throughout the week, as will the hospital itself.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Cabinet Member for Children Services, said: “Every year, thousands of people experience the heart-breaking loss of a baby in pregnancy, at or soon after birth, and in infancy.

“We hope that by lighting up the Civic Centre it shows some support to those bereaved families, highlight that there’s support out there and support our friends at Royal Oldham Hospital the charities behind Baby Loss Awareness Week.”

Susan Brierley, Bereavement Midwife at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “Losing a baby from stillbirth or neonatal death can be a difficult experience for many families and it’s still very much a sensitive subject within society. 

“Baby Loss Awareness Week offers families the chance to come together and remember their babies in a sympathetic, supportive and understanding environment. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the organised events and take some time out to reflect on their loss.”

Key events during Baby Loss Awareness Week in Oldham include:

Baby Memorial Service – Thursday, October 10, 6.45pm (for 7pm start)

This year's Baby Memorial Service will be hosted by the hospital's Spiritual Care Team in the Education Centre of the hospital. The service will offer families a chance to pause, reflect and remember their loss in a supportive environment. The service will start at 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

Information Stands at Royal Oldham Hospital - all day, every day

There will be an information stand available next to the clock near the main entrance of the hospital all week at Oldham for anyone who wishes to pop by and pick up some information.

Petal Shower at Dexter's Garden – Saturday, October 12, 12noon

A petal shower has been arranged in Dexter's Garden. Dexter’s Garden is the brainchild of Katie Bowker, a midwife in the Maternity Department at the Royal Oldham Hospital. The project is a personal one, which is very close to Katie’s heart, and a tribute to her son Dexter, who passed away shortly after birth in November 2016.

Everyone is welcome and families are being asked to ensure that any materials scattered are biodegradable. Please note that Dexter's Garden has been relocated from its original location. It is now located on the other side of the stone wall next to the Diabetes Centre on Westhulme Avenue.


Wave of Light at Dexter's Garden – Tuesday, October 15, 6.45pm (for 7pm start)

We will be joining SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity) in their global Wave of Light - where families and friends can commemorate all the babies who lit up our lives for a short time and sadly died too soon. The Wave of Light will take place in Dexter's Garden from 7pm. For families unable to attend an officially organised event, please get involved by doing your own wave of light at home.

Anyone who would like further details on the memorial service should contact the chaplaincy and spiritual care team at The Royal Oldham Hospital on 0161 627 8796.

For further information about Baby Loss Awareness Week visit: www.babyloss-awareness.org and for the memorial events at Royal Oldham Hospital visit: www.pat.nhs.uk/get-involved/events.htm

The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) offers support for families who have faced stillbirth or neo-natal deaths. They can be contacted on 020 7436 5881 or online at www.uk-sands.org

Anyone can share their photos on social media tagged #BLAW2019.


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