Bid to raise £142,000 for suite at new Aberdeen hospital to help parents after loss of baby

From left, Heather Robb, Jennifer Yeomans, Catherine Stewart and Sandra Stephen with the babygros at Hazlehead Park.

A charity has officially launched a £142,000 appeal to raise funds for a bereavement suite at Aberdeen’s new Baird Family Hospital.

Aberdeen Sands – a group that provides support for families who have suffered the loss of a baby before, during or shortly after birth – wants to create a designated unit located in an area separate from the labour ward.

It would be a private area where women can deliver their stillborn babies and will consist of two en-suite rooms plus a family room.

The money raised will pay for decor, furnishings, non-medical equipment and supplies for all rooms in the bereavement suite.

Sandra Stephen, a committee member at Aberdeen Sands, said: “The aim is to create a peaceful environment to bring some comfort to families at such a devastating time.

“This fundraising announcement coincides with a national campaign to highlight the fact the death of a baby is not a rare tragedy. We’re looking at how lessons can be learned, how we can better communicate with families after the death of a baby and increase awareness of the fact that there is a support network available for those having to deal with such a trauma.”

In the UK, 15 babies die before, during or soon after birth each day – one in every 150.

“The placing of 15 babygros on a washing line at Hazlehead Park not only highlighted the campaign but also served as a reminder that help is available from a local group that includes many members who have suffered personal loss,” she added.

“We have already been strongly supported by many people in the north of Scotland and we’re confident of achieving our target of £142,000.”

The Aberdeen support group, one of 200 across the UK, works closely with Banff & Buchan Sands, Moray Sands and Shetland Sands. Services offered include bereavement training for professionals and ongoing support for bereaved families.

The Baird Family Hospital and The ANCHOR Centre Project is a £150 million development at Foresterhill Health Campus due to open in 2020.

More than £26,000 has already been raised towards the Sands project.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Aberdeen-Sands

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