BEREAVED mothers will retrace the journey they have been on with Swindon Sands in a sponsored memory walk from Great Western Hospital to Kingsdown Crematorium next month.
Mothers using the Sands support network will set off from the hospital at 10am on September 6 and use footpaths to make it all the way to the crematorium by 12.30pm. They will be joined by fellow fundraisers.
The walk will be followed by a balloon release in memory of the children lost, but the immediate focus is on raising money for the upkeep of the charity’s imminent bereavement suite at the hospital.
No launch date has been set for the new facility yet, but it will open in the autumn and it will need an ongoing fund to sustain it, which is where the walk comes in.
“We were talking about the bereavement suite opening at Great Western and Rebecca (Porter, a member of Sands) came up with the idea of doing a sponsored walk,” said Cathy Milburn, the chairman of Swindon Sands.
“We are walking the journey we have all been on. She came up with the name Little Footprints for the walk.
“It’s the journey from the hospital we were all at, right the way through to the support network we rely on, gathered at the baby garden at the crematorium.
“The families have decided to raise some money to go towards the bereavement suite.
“Not everyone will fundraise, some are happy to use it as an awareness walk with our branded T-shirts on.”
Cathy said it had been a long 18 months, with approximately £20,000 raised for furnishing the bereavement suite.
There are likely to be 30 to 40 people taking part in the walk next month.
Rebecca said: “This suite provides parents and families who have tragically lost little ones to have their own quiet space away from parents who have been lucky enough to be able to keep their precious babies.
“It will be used to make lots of memories in the little time they have to spend with the baby they have very unfortunately lost.
“Although all the fundraising has been done for the actual making and opening of this area we would also like to raise some funds to keep this going.”
If anyone would like any further information on how to get involved or would like a sponsor form, or to buy T-shirts, Cathy can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01793 238788.