Sheffield hospital charity launches appeal to help families cope with loss of a baby

A major new appeal has been launched to raise funds to transform the Jessop Wing bereavement suite to help over 250 bereaved families each year following miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 1:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 1:34 pm
Kerry Marston Giroux, Bereavement Services Manager at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Sheffield Hospitals Charity is aiming to raise £230,000 over the next 12 months to support the redevelopment of an existing area currently used by families of deceased babies.

Around 8,000 babies are born each year at the Jessop Wing and for most parents this is a joyful occasion and a time to celebrate, but sadly some families have to deal with the devastating heartbreak of losing a child.

The care that bereaved parents receive in hospital following the death of their baby is crucial as these experiences are likely to be remembered by parents for the rest of their lives.

At such an emotionally challenging time, bereaved parents desperately need their own space. They need privacy to be together.

The money raised from this appeal will focus on transforming the bereavement suite, to create a warm, comfortable and calming space where families can spend time with their baby, giving them an opportunity to create essential memories in a private area and to support any religious, spiritual and cultural ceremonies.

The new suite will also provide a place for parents to meet with staff in the Jessop Wing Bereavement Services who can provide essential emotional support.

Kerry Marston Giroux, bereavement services manager, said: “The bereavement suite helps to make an incredibly distressing experience that little bit easier for the 250 families a year that need the support of the bereavement services.

“A new facility will provide a safe haven for bereaved families, caring for them in their hours of need, in what’s most likely to be their darkest hour.

“I want the bereavement suite to be a place that enhances and creates memories whilst encouraging families to spend more time with their baby in a private and tranquil environment,

“It’s so important that we get the support and care we provide right as any bad experiences are likely to exacerbate feelings of pain and grief for bereaved parents, potentially for many years to come.”

David Reynolds, executive director at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, said: “Coping with the loss of a child is unimaginable and whilst we know that there is nothing that can take that pain away, we want to do everything that we can to make that experience just a little more bearable and that is why we have launched our appeal.

“Our plans will create a more modern facility that better meets the needs of families today.”

More information about how you can support the appeal by fundraising or making a donation is available at www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/appeal/jessopsappeal

*Sheffield Hospitals Charity helps patients being treated for almost every condition across all the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals sites.

With the generous support and hard work of donors and fundraisers, the charity invests over £2 million a year in the latest equipment, pioneering research, patient and family support, buildings and people.

We strive to provide a level of patient care beyond that which NHS funding alone can deliver.

The charity’s funds help to make life better for patients and their families at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General hospitals, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, Weston Park Cancer Hospital and Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital.