From creating dedicated memorial gardens for babies to illuminating a chapel in blue and pink lights, Westerleigh Group’s crematoria marked Baby Loss Awareness Week in a variety of ways.
The first Baby Loss Awareness Day took place on October 15 2002 in the UK but now takes the form of a whole week of events involving a wide range of charities.
Baby Loss Awareness Week 2021 ran between October 9 and 15 and aims to raise awareness about pregnancy loss and baby loss, to drive improvements in care and support for anyone affected by it, and to support bereaved parents and families, encouraging them to unite with others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives and lost pregnancies, ensuring they know they are not alone.
Westerleigh Group is the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 35 sites in England, Scotland and Wales, all set within beautifully-landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.
A number of Westerleigh Group’s crematoria organised activities as part of the week, demonstrating their commitment to supporting those in its local communities who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby loss.
West Berkshire Crematorium, in partnership with Royal Berkshire Hospital, opened a new Baby Garden within its grounds and also donated £3,000 in total to three local charities who support bereaved families. The money was raised through the crematorium’s metal recycling scheme.
West Lancashire Cemetery and Crematorium marked Baby Loss Awareness Week by announcing it planned to create a Baby & Infant Memorial Garden in its grounds.
Vale Royal Crematorium in Cheshire bathed its chapel building in pink and blue lights, reflecting the colours of ribbons and pins sold to raise money for the many charities associated with Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Gedling Crematorium in Nottinghamshire bought pink and blue pins to wear in chapel and lit 21 candles to mark the 21 stillborn/baby and non-viable foetus cremations the site has conducted this year.
Parndon Wood Cemetery and Crematorium in Essex hosted a special Baby Loss Tribute Service on October 9 in its chapel building. This event was also streamed live over the internet for those unable to attend in person, and invited donations in aid of SANDS, the national Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity.
Great Glen Crematorium, in Leicestershire, donated £3,000 to the Bodie Hodges Foundation, which supports families who have been bereaved of a child, and promotes organ donation. The money was raised through the crematorium’s metal recycling scheme.
Similarly, Westerleigh Crematorium, just outside Bristol, has donated £3,000 to SANDS from its metal recycling scheme in recognition of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Roger Mclaughlan, Chief Executive Officer of Westerleigh Group, said: “The loss of any loved one is a difficult and distressing time for those they leave behind, but the loss of babies can be particularly heart-breaking and traumatic for everyone involved.
“Baby Loss Awareness Week gave us the chance to show our support for these families and also get behind the work of all the charities and organisations involved.
“We pride ourselves on providing exceptional care for families who use our facilities and on making positive contributions to our local communities, and our support for Baby Loss Awareness Week is another example of that commitment.”