Charities call on everyone to let bereaved know #YouAreNotAlone during #BLAW2020 AN alliance of more than 90 charities is


TEAM: Sands United FC Hull and East Yorkshire will play veteran football players from Hull City Tigers on Sunday, October 11

AN alliance of more than 90 charities is joining together during Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020 (October 9 to October 15) to highlight the increased isolation many people have experienced after pregnancy and baby loss, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More than half (54 per cent) of people who responded to a YouGov survey ahead of the Week, said that they had either been personally affected by pregnancy or baby loss, or knew someone else who had been through it. 

The charities are now calling on everyone to help reduce these feelings of isolation around baby loss, by sharing their experiences and showing their support for those who have experienced the loss of a baby – whether or not they have been directly affected themselves. 

The effect of social distancing from COVID-19 has had a major impact on access to care and support and has complicated grief and responses to pregnancy and baby loss. 

For anyone affected by pregnancy or baby loss, however long ago, the isolation from family and friends this year may have brought their lifelong grief much closer to the surface. 

Each day during #BLAW2020 will explore a different topic, sharing the Alliance’s wide range of support and information and stories of loss on social media. 

The Natwest Group is supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week 2020 in partnership with Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) and will be hosting a live Panel Discussion each week day at: www.facebook.com/babylossweek 

Baby Loss Awareness Week is an opportunity to help people commemorate their babies, whether it be in public or private, and feel less isolated and alone by giving them the opportunity to join with others. 

Throughout the Week, landmark buildings across the UK will be lit up pink and blue – the colours of Baby Loss Awareness Week. 

Locally, the Hull and East Yorkshire branch of Sands are lighting up Hull City Hall, museums, and other landmarks pink and blue. 

Sands United FC Hull and East Yorkshire, part of the Sands United FC UK network and also a sub section of Hull and East Yorkshire Sands Group, will play veteran football players from Hull City Tigers on Sunday, October 11 at North Cave.

Refreshments, including cake, will be offered for a small donation. Social distancing rules are to be followed and masks are to be worn. 

Maggie Simkiss, chair of the Hull and East Yorkshire Sands Group said: “Things are very different this year for obvious reasons but we in the Hull and East Yorkshire branch of Sands are trying to do everything we can to raise awareness some of the things include lighting up buildings in Hull such as the City Hall, museums, hotels and the hospital where many of the babies are sadly lost. Some of the committee members are putting together hampers to raffle online which will hopefully raise some much-needed funds. The local bereavement midwives are also putting together pamper hampers to raffle and they are hopefully going to conduct a virtual remembrance service to light a candle for your baby.” 

Baby Loss Awareness Week will culminate in a global Wave Of Light at 7pm on October 15 when candles will be lit across the world to remember all those babies who have died. Anyone can join a digital Wave of Light from 7pm on October 15 by posting a photo of their candle to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #WaveOfLight. 

 Maggie added: “Baby loss awareness week in October is so important to the Stillbirth and Neonatal Society family to mark as it keeps our babies in the forefront of our lives, baby loss is still very much a taboo and we need to be able to support families who are still affected by this the saddest thing that can happen the death of a child. By having events like BLAW it makes the taboo more acceptable to the community we are in and helps others help the family who are effected.” 

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands and Chair of the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance, said: “This year during Baby Loss Awareness Week we are highlighting the isolation many people experience after pregnancy and baby loss. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, feelings of isolation have become more widespread than ever and many people have begun to talk more openly about grief. 

 “Many of those whose baby died during the pandemic will not have been able to spend time making memories or saying goodbye to their baby in the way they would have wanted to. Now more than ever, we can all come together to let those affected by pregnancy and baby loss know they are not alone and that we are all here to support them.” 

For more information on Hull and East Yorkshire Sands branch, search for Hull and East Yorkshire Sands on Facebook or email: [email protected] For further information on Baby Loss Awareness Week, visit: www.babylossawareness.org and follow #BLAW2020 on social media.