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Balloons for babies
LEWIS, Christine, Sarah – just a few of the dozens of names sewn in to a memorial cloth to mark the lives of babies who were stillborn that lay at the entrance of a Swindon Chapel over the weekend for a special service.
The cloth was placed at the entrance of Kingsdown Crematorium on Saturday when dozens of bereaved families came together to remember their babies for an annual service and balloon release.
The event is organised by Swindon’s Sands, a charity which was set up in 2008 to support families who have gone through or are going through the ordeal.
During the service, parents stood up to read poems and a talk was given by Steve Henderson, the chaplain from Great Western Hospital.
Afterwards, all the parents released pink, white and blue balloons at the charity’s memorial garden. Sands opened the garden in October 2011.
Chairwoman of the group, Cathy Milburn, 37, of Middleleaze, said the garden had been a real help since it first opened.
“It’s been lovely to have it to go to,” said Cathy. “When we first opened it we wanted it to be a place for bereaved families to be able to visit during any stage of their loss.”
Sian Evans started using the service after her appendix burst when she was pregnant, which went unnoticed for two days.
She then had to have a life saving operation and her twins were born prematurely at 22 weeks. Both of them died.
“It was really hard to deal with, I was trying to recover from a serious operation as well,” said Sian, 32. “I was given a lot of information after it and didn’t really take any of it in. A few weeks later I looked back over it and saw the information for the group. It made life easier. It’s great to have people to talk to who have gone through the same thing. I’ve made some lifelong friends here.”
Sian brought her eight month old baby Morgan to the service so he could remember his brother and sister as well.
David Millard did a reading of IF, a poem by an anonymous writer which he felt explained how he felt losing two babies in 2009 and 2010.
“The group has double the importance for me,” said 37-year-old David.
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