A scene that illuminated the Nottinghamshire skyline via some of its most iconic landmarks is set to return again this October as the international ‘Wave of Light’ marks Baby Loss Awareness Week from October 9th-15th.
The week is an opportunity for parents, their families and friends to acknowledge and remember their precious babies who have died. It is a collaboration of over 60 charities in the UK, including Nottingham based Forever Stars.
It was set up in 2013 by Beeston parents Richard and Michelle Daniels, who were dealt one of life’s hardest blows when their beautiful daughter Emily was stillborn.
Now, together with a board of dedicated trustees, patrons, ambassadors and supporters they work tirelessly to raise the necessary funds to build facilities and to improve care for parents who also find their precious child has gone too soon.
The charity’s major focus in 2019 is the funding and creation of a Remembrance Garden on Highfields Park to help bereaved parents of stillborn babies and early baby loss by creating a place of “focus, relaxation and reflection for families”.
However, for the next month, the team’s focus will be squarely on raising awareness of baby loss locally, regionally, nationally and across the globe as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Richard Daniels explains: “Baby Loss Awareness Week is a very special opportunity for bereaved parents and families across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives. It is also a chance to break the silence around pregnancy or baby loss in the UK and to ensure all bereaved parents in the UK get the best possible care, wherever they live and whenever they need it.
“The ’Wave of Light’’ is a truly global phenomenon now and is the culmination of the week, which is also recognised as International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Families across the world light a candle at 7pm local time and leaving it burning for at least one hour to remember all babies that have died too soon. It is an incredibly powerful and hugely emotive moment for everyone and something raises a huge amount of awareness of this very difficult subject.’’
Whilst the Nottinghamshire skyline is transformed, helped by the kind support of some of the county’s biggest employers and organisations, it isn’t the only thing happening that week.
There is also a whole lot more going on, from coffee mornings at local cafes, bars and restaurants, a Forever Stars charity ball featuring Nottingham’s own Faith Tucker, a baby loss service at Southwell Minster and something that everyone can join in with ‘Show Us Your Socks’ Saturday.
“This is something new we’ve created this year which gives people a chance to raise awareness and show their support in a fun but subtle way,” concludes Richard.
“Of course, they may not want to go for the subtle approach, they can wander about in shorts, skirts or a kilt with their socks proudly displayed if they wish but it is perhaps a little more discreet for those people who wish to be. We also have our pin-badge and wristbands if people want to show their support that way or they can always donate direct via our dedicated funding page https://www.foreverstars.org/get-involved/donate/
“It really is up to each individual, family or organisation on how they get involved but whatever they do to help us raise funds or awareness will be supporting our vision of a world where fewer babies die and helping to ensure that every bereaved family, wherever they live in the UK, gets the care and support they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.”