Life after loss remembrance service

Pictures Martin Bostock'Gazette Best of Health Awards at the De Vere Hotel.'Midwife of the year Pauline Canning (right) with Carol Bramhall of the Stop Smoking Service.

Pictures Martin Bostock'Gazette Best of Health Awards at the De Vere Hotel.'Midwife of the year Pauline Canning (right) with Carol Bramhall of the Stop Smoking Service.

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Parents who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby are being invited to attend a special service to remember their loved one.

A Special Baby Remembrance Service is organised every year by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for parents whose infants were miscarried, born asleep, or lived for only hours, days or weeks.

And the memorial, which this year is on Sunday, December 1, has been described as “invaluable”.

Pauline Canning, antenatal screening midwife at Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who has helped organise this year’s event, said: “I hope that each year this service plays a small part in helping families cope with their loss and gives them space to remember in a safe and supportive environment.

“All members of the family are welcome; parents, siblings or grandparents, the service is for people to remember their loss surrounded by others who understand what they are going through.

“Each year we aim to make the service special and I hope families from across the Fylde coast will join us for what is always such a special occasion.”

The non-religious service, which starts at 3pm in the Baronial Hall at the Winter Gardens, is open to all families who have lost a baby, not only within the last year, but for those families who may have been affected by the loss of a baby at any point.

Helen Cooper, of Blackpool and Preston Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity Sands, who support the event every year, said: “The comfort the service gives is invaluable.

“For some families the service can be the one time in the year when they share their grief with others, giving them the strength to cope at Christmas which, alongside the anniversary of the birth of their baby, can be the most difficult time of the year”.

As well as the readings from bereaved families and songs from local singer, Bethany Peters, each family is given a Christmas bauble on which to write their baby’s name as an act of remembrance and hang from either the Christmas tree at the service or to take home.

Remembrance trees, donated by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils, will also be placed at Carleton, Lytham and Fleetwood cemeteries.

Sands Charity is providing refreshments at the service.

For more information contact Pauline Canning on (01253) 303639.

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