Running until October 15 is national Baby Loss Awareness Week and Oxfordshire Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) is hosting a series of events in Banbury, backed by MP Victoria Prentis, to mark the occasion.
This Sunday, October 14 at 6pm, anyone affected by the tragic death of a baby, no matter how long ago, or anyone who wants to support someone who has suffered, is welcome to attend a special Baby Loss Awareness Week Service at St Mary’s Church, Horsefair, in memory of all babies taken too soon.
Parents will share readings, light candles in remembrance and prepare for the Wave of Light the following day, October 15, which is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Candles and specially handknitted baby loss awareness ribbons that have been donated, will be available for people to take away with them as a keepsake.
Sands is also working with Banbury Town Council, which has agreed to illuminate the town hall in pink and blue on October 15 for the global Wave of Light, joining with hundreds of landmarks across the whole country to be part of this campaign.
Chair of Oxfordshire Sands, Karen Hancox, said: “We hope the events we are organising will spark conversations about baby loss and give local bereaved parents and families an opportunity to talk about their precious babies.
“It is so important to break down the taboo and silence surrounding baby loss, as too many bereaved parents are struggling through life feeling isolated in their grief.”
Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands, said: “Baby Loss Awareness Week is a unique opportunity for parents to commemorate their babies who died, and I hope that the work of Oxfordshire Sands will help bereaved families feel less isolated and alone in their grief.”
She added: “Pregnancy loss or the death of a baby is a tragedy that affects thousands of people every year. It is devastating for parents and families and it’s vital they get the bereavement support and care they need, for as long as they need it.”
The group will also be giving away Love Hearts sweet packets in its Random Acts of Kindness scheme.
Some 105 packets of Love Hearts will be distributed across the county, one for every baby that dies shortly before, during or after birth every week in the UK.
For more information about the charity and Baby Loss Awareness Week visit www.oxfordshiresands.org.uk.