A group of local ladies are trying to bring much-needed support to others who have experienced baby loss in south Norfolk — but they require help from the community.
Babies at Peace was formed in January, and is currently in the process of raising funds to offer practical support to the bereaved after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and the death of a new born baby.
Formed following a one-off meeting in Diss in the winter of 2015, it now has a committee of seven people, and holds informal meet ups every first Wednesday of the month at 10am at cafes in and around the Diss area.
Emma Shawcross, a funeral director from Winfarthing and one of the group’s committee members, lost her baby George after 45 minutes in 2014. He had been born without a windpipe.
“I felt so alone then,” she explained.
“It is a very lonely process. It is difficult because people who would talk to you before would cross the road as they would not know what to say to you.
What we want to do is not only help other parents by letting them know they are not alone, but actually we want to get people talking about itEmma Shawcross, Babies at Peace
“What we want to do is not only help other parents by letting them know they are not alone, but actually we want to get people talking about it.
“There was nothing really (support) in South Norfolk. We thought this is silly, let us help other parents.
“It is just so sad that there has been nothing like this before.”
They are aiming to fundraise to ensure all parents bereaved by baby loss are given the opportunity to make memorial keepsakes of their babies, such as photographs, hand/footprints and imprints, and to offer help and support to the bereaved with support group meetings with a trained facilitator.
They also received a boost after Co-operative Funeralcare donated enough money to provide a ‘cuddle cot’, a piece of medical equipment similar to a cooled bassinet, that may be leant free of charge to any parents in South Norfolk who have suffered the loss of a baby.
A ‘cuddle cot’ gives bereaved parents the option to have the baby at home with them before the funeral, allowing relatives to take their time saying goodbye.
n Two fundraising events have been organised by the group in a bid to raise money.
The first is an evening of mediumship with Wayne McHugh at Diss and District Bowls Club on October 13. Tickets are £10 for the event, starting at 7pm, while businesses are being asked to donate raffle prizes.
And on October 28 at Shelfanger Village Hall, the group will host a children’s Halloween party, ‘A Gathering of Ghouls’, for those 12 and under from 5pm to 8pm.
Advance tickets are £2.50, adults free. It will be an evening of fun, games, music, dancing, treats and more.