People affected by the loss of a baby or child are invited to gather on the green opposite St Helier Hospital at 6.30pm on Sunday 14 October for a minute’s silence and special commemorative event.
As the sun sets for the evening, the building will be transformed into a sea of lights, giving local families and individuals the opportunity to come and remember any child or baby who has died. There will be a minute’s silence at 7pm (marked by the ringing of a bell).
The event is free to attend, although donations to the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity will be welcome, and every penny raised will go to improving facilities in our maternity departments. The event was first held last year to raise money for Bearing Hope – a campaign launched by Hollie Perry and Scott Eyre, who successfully raised a staggering £20,000 to completely overhaul the bereavement room in the Maternity Department at St Helier, after they lost their daughter, Hope, in 2016.
A few staff members and hospital representatives will be holding fundraising buckets on the night, and the display will be projected onto the front of the hospital until 10pm, 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.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “Last year’s Bearing Hope baby loss awareness event was a very touching evening, and as hundreds of local people gathered to remember their young loved ones, the strength of feeling was evident. I know that nothing will take away the grief of losing a child or baby, but I am pleased that we are able to offer our communities the chance to join together and take a few moments to reflect and remember.
“Every penny raised on the evening will go to our maternity departments, so if you can spare some change, please do donate. You can also donate online.”
Hollie explained why she and Hope’s father Scott launched the event, and why raising money for a new bereavement room was so important. 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 were some touches that could be made to the bereavement room that would have made that precious time with your baby just a little more comfortable. That’s why we raised £20,000 to refurbish it completely, and we are so pleased with the finished results. The room was officially opened recently, and we are so pleased to have been able to create a lasting legacy for Hope.”
You can donate to the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity online at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1000990.