New campaign to help bereaved parents in their time of need

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A major fundraising campaign is under way to raise £120,000 in 18 months for a maternity bereavement suite at Scarborough Hospital.

The Snowdrop Appeal, which was launched at the hospital on Tuesday, aims to create a new facility to help parents who have to face the tragic situation of losing a baby.

Scarborough Hospital launch the Snowdrops campaign with Mayor and Mayoress Andrew and Sue Backhouse with Hospital representative Freya Oliver and guests.Picture Richard Ponter 132215

Scarborough Hospital launch the Snowdrops campaign with Mayor and Mayoress Andrew and Sue Backhouse with Hospital representative Freya Oliver and guests.Picture Richard Ponter 132215

Maternity matron, Freya Oliver, said: “We would like to create a special suite with the help and advice from bereaved parents who have sadly had to deal with such devastating news.

“The new facilities will include a sleeping areas, lounge and bathroom, where parents and families can be together to comfort and support each other during such a difficult time.

“Sadly, 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK. We know the difference a good environment can make to these families is so enormous; we believe this to be a very worthwhile project.”

Freya said that the ultimate aim is to provide a warm, comforting environment, which will “offer the best experience out of the worst experience”.

She added: “The important thing to remember is that all parents are taking home is their memories of that experience, so we need to make it as bearable as possible.”

Hospital fundraiser Maya Richardson explained that as part of the campaign, she will be applying for grant funding wherever possible, but that it will also come down to the support of the community.

She said: “We’re really hoping to get the community on board. I’m happy to come out and give talks to groups, and we have lots of posters, leaflets and collecting tins available.”

Maya is encouraging individuals, groups, schools and businesses to get involved by organising events of their own. An information booklet is available from Maya, titled “Jump into Action for Scarborough General Hospital Funds”.

The campaign is also being backed by Scarborough’s mayor, Cllr Andrew Backhouse, who said: “I think this is a very sensitive issue and the appeal itself is being handled in a very sensitive way.

“This is a much-needed facility for a situation which is not often shared publicly. I hope and expect that the appeal will be very successful and I will do everything I can to raise its profile in the community.”

Cllr Backhouse added: “As a parent, you can’t imagine being in that position. It’s all about how you care for those parents at their time of need.”

If you would like to fundraise for The Snowdrop Appeal, please contact the fundraising team on (01723) 236210 or email maya.richardson@york.nhs.uk

You can also visit www.york.nhs.uk/fundraising or the appeal’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/TheSnowdropAppeal Alternatively, you can text SGHM14 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to the appeal

The next event is the Ironing Man Challenge, on July 12 at Scarborough Hospital main entrance, where members of the Wonkey McDonky fundraising group will be ironing in return for a donation.

• The maternity unit’s annual Parent Support Group Remembrance Service will take place on Wednesday June 12 at St Luke’s Church at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available, along with information about The Snowdrop Appeal.