This week marks Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) and we are proud to have just launched a partnership with Edinburgh-based charity Held in Our Hearts.
This week marks Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October), an annual event to raise awareness about pregnancy and baby loss in the UK. Now in its 19th year, we are proud to have just launched a partnership with Held in Our Hearts, an Edinburgh-based charity who offer compassionate bereavement care.
Held in Our Hearts provide support to families following the death of a baby through specialised bereavement services including befriending and counselling, and together we can provide bespoke support that fits the needs of our families pre-bereavement, during and post.
Alesha from Edinburgh lost her baby daughter Parker in August 2020 when she was just 9 months old. Alesha tells us about how CHAS and Held in Our Hearts have helped her navigate through the toughest time of her life.
“CHAS has been instrumental in our journey from my daughter Parkers birth, her complex medical health, her death and beyond. Without the relationships with those that cared for us that journey would be so much harder to navigate.
“CHAS was there in the neonatal unit knowing we had a very medically challenging baby and helped us plan how we potentially could have cared for her at home, planning for a very different future than the one we thought we would have.
“When she suddenly became very ill and when it was clear she was near the end of her life, CHAS stepped in and she was transferred to Rachel House who arranged for all of the family to be together - doing this all through a pandemic - but this meant we were a family, something we seldom experienced in Parkers life. We were together to share in the last day of Parker's life. This time was magical and would never have been possible if it was not for Michelle (Child and Family worker at CHAS) and the rest of the CHAS team. Although her death was awful, it was made so much better than it could have been as we were all together as a family.
“The transition of care from the support from Michelle (CHAS) to Held in Our Hearts was just right. Michelle knew when it was the right time for me, and although I still know if I needed her she would be there, Held in Our Hearts gives me “Parker time” where, as a busy mum of four other children, I have time to talk about Parker. There is no judgement, I don’t feel as if I am going crazy, they let me see that what I am feeling is normal and their support allows me to carry on being a mum with all the day to day busyness that comes with that. That support is still going strong.
“I know a lot of people feel uncomfortable talking about baby loss, but CHAS and Held in Our Hearts gives me the chance to talk about my daughter. It’s important for other parents going through such an awful experience of losing a baby to know that care is there for them, you don’t have to grieve alone.”
Families are at the very heart of everything we do and together with Held in Our Hearts, we have an ambition of reaching every bereaved family that needs our help and ensuring that no one faces the death of their baby or child alone.