This year we managed to organise St Helier Hospital's first baby loss awareness event. Yearly a global event takes place called "The Wave of Light' which simply invites anyone affected by baby loss to light a candle and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join others in remembering all babies that have died. This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. We know how important it is to create awareness and we wanted to show a community support by joining the global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.
Local people affected by the loss of a baby or child were 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 set for the evening, the lights at the front of the hospital were dimmed and the building was temporarily transformed into a moving canvas of flickering candles. We wanted to give local families and individuals the opportunity to come and remember any child or baby who has died.
The evening coincided with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and began just after 7pm with a count down to a minute’s silence at 7.15pm for those who have sadly died.
The event was free to attend, although donations for Bearing Hope campaign were collected. A few staff members and hospital representatives were selling cakes, and holding fundraising buckets on the night,
Over 100 people attended the event including local MP Tom Brake, Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles and Chief Nurse Charlotte Hall. Local's lite candles, released balloons and showed strength in standing together for such a sad occasion.
The display was projected onto the front of the hospital until 9.30pm, so locals were welcome to come and pay their respects at any point during the evening. Building up to the event The Sutton and Epsom Guardian's advertised the event and cause on the front page of their papers, Radio Jackie, BBC Radio Surrey and SWLondoner interviewed us to create awareness for the event and our crowdfunding page.
We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Claire Proudlock for helping us organise the projection for the night & share our story amongst the local press. Matthieu Zellweger for attended the event and captured the evening with his camera.
The Midwives for baking cakes and selling raffle tickets on the night. Mitie for donating their takings from the drinks sold on the night. The League of Friends for St Helier Hospital for allowing us to use their collection buckets.
In a previous article 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.”
On the night with the generosity of everyone who attended and everyone who bought raffle tickets we raised over £1300!
Thank you so much for everyone who donated and supported us. And as sad as it was to see so many people affected by baby loss, it was heart warming to see everyone stand together and break the silence.
Next year will be bigger and better.