A new bereavement suite for parents whose baby is stillborn or dies shortly after birth will be opened at the Calderdale Royal Hospital, in Halifax, on Saturday, 1 February.

The ‘Little Footprints’ suite, situated in the hospital’s maternity unit, was funded by the Huddersfield branch of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, to give parents a peaceful room in which to spend time with their baby.

The suite will be officially opened by Huddersfield’s local MP, Barry Sheerman, along with fundraisers, Huddersfield Sands’ volunteers, the local chaplain, and maternity staff.

‘I’m honoured that Huddersfield Sands and staff at the Calderdale Royal Hospital have asked me to open this suite. Both carry out such a great job supporting and caring for parents at such a distressing time and I’m happy to help out in any way I can,’ said Barry Sheerman MP.

The charity has spent more than a year fundraising, collecting donations, including £400 from local bereaved parents, and working with hospital staff, in order to completely refurbish one of the rooms on the maternity unit and turn it into a dedicated bereavement room.  It is hoped the separate suite with facilities for parents, both during labour and afterwards, will go some way to helping parents and families at a devastating time.

Chair of Huddersfield Sands, Rachael Brann, set up the local group, after her baby died in 2009, as she wanted to offer support to other bereaved parents.

‘As a bereaved parent and someone that supports those whose babies have died, I know how important it is to be able to create has many memories as possible with your baby. A bereavement room gives parents and their families a quiet, secure and private place where they can spend time creating these vital and precious memories,’ says Rachael.

For further information about Huddersfield Sands Phone: 07919487841, Email: huddersfieldsands@yahoo.co.uk or visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/huddersfieldsands

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Notes to editor

The official opening is being held on the maternity unit, labour ward at the Calderdale Royal Hospital, Salterhebble, Halifax, HX3 0PW, on Saturday 1st February at 11am.

Refreshments will be available.

An image will be available after the event, upon request.

For more information, please contact Natalie Cooper, Sands Press & PR Officer, on 0203 598 1959, e: Natalie.cooper@uk-sands.org