Families are being invited to attend Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s annual ‘baby and young children remembrance weekend’ which is being held at Torbay Hospital on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December 2019.

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 which includes a craft morning for all ages on the Saturday and a special service in the Hospital’s Chapel on the Sunday. This year, the event has been expanded to also include those who have lost a child in the early years of life as well as those who have experienced baby loss.

Sam Blatchford, 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.”

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 have planned our events to include those who have been through losing a young child.

“These are such difficult experiences, and we hope that an opportunity to remember our little ones in a supportive and understanding atmosphere and to meet others who have walked the same path 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.”

The craft morning will be on Saturday 30 November from 10am in the Bayview Restaurant at Torbay Hospital, when all ages can be creative and make things to remember.  There will be a range of activities available, suitable for the youngest children as well as adults and an opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation.

The service of remembrance for babies and young children is on Sunday 1 December at 3pm in Torbay Hospital’s Chapel.  This will include a chance to light a candle, place a star on a tree and have a name or a message read out if desired.  Following the service, families will be able to have tea and refreshments in the Bayview Restaurant.

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. There is no need to book a place; people can simply turn up to either event if they wish.

If anyone would like more details about the remembrance weekend they should contact the Hospital’s Chaplaincy on 01803 654186.

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