Local people affected by the loss of a baby or child are invited to gather on the green opposite St Helier Hospital at 7pm on Sunday 15 October for a minute’s silence and special commemorative event.
As the sun sets for the evening, the lights at the front of the hospital will be dimmed and the building will be temporarily transformed into a moving canvas of flickering candles – giving local families and individuals the opportunity to come and remember any child or baby who has died. The evening coincides with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and will begin just after 7pm with a minute’s silence at 7.15pm for those who have sadly died.
The event is free to attend, although donations to the Bearing Hope campaign will be welcome. Bearing Hope is the campaign launched by local couple Hollie Perry and her partner Scott, who are trying to raise £20,000 to completely overhaul the bereavement room in the Maternity Department at St Helier, after they lost their daughter, Hope, last August. A few staff members and hospital representatives will be holding fundraising buckets on the night, so if you have some spare change and would like to donate to the cause, please do so. Light refreshments will also be on sale from Mitie (the company who provide catering services at the hospital), who will donate all funds raised to the campaign.
The display will be projected onto the front of the hospital until 9.30pm, so even if you can’t join us for the start of the event, you’re welcome to come and pay your respects at any point during the evening. For safety reasons, we are asking people not to bring candles, sparklers or Chinese lanterns to the event.
Chief Nurse Charlotte Hall said: “It is hard to imagine just how hard it is to lose a baby or a child, and it can be a very lonely, isolating thing to go through. We are pleased to be able to offer the whole of our local communities the chance to come along on Sunday 15 October, gather together and take a few moments to remember their young loved ones.
“At the same time, you will have the chance to make a difference to other people who may go through something similar in the future. Every penny raised on the evening will go to the Bearing Hope campaign, so if you can spare some change, please do donate. You can also donate online.”
Hollie explained why raising money for a new bereavement room is so important to her and Scott. She said: “After Hope arrived, we were given a cold cot [a cot that cools the baby and prolongs the amount of time parents can spend with their child] and were able to spend a night and day with her in the single bereavement room. We knew that we had to cram in a lifetime of memories into just a few precious hours, and we will both remember the time we spent in that room for the rest of our lives.
“You know that there won’t be any more bedtime stories, no singing happy birthday to her as she grows up, and so every moment in the bereavement room meant so much to us.
“The staff at St Helier were incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. But, there are some touches that could be made to the bereavement room that would make that precious time with your baby just a little more comfortable. That’s why we want to raise £20,000 to refurbish it completely.
“We will always treasure being able to spend time with Hope, dress her, take ink prints of her hands and feet, and we would like to be able to help other parents who are going through the same thing or something similar.”