Remembrance books for babies donated to Southmead and St Michael's hospitals

Chaplain Rev Stephen Oram and treasurer of the Bristol branch of SANDS Gordon Comley (centre) with Helen and Nigel Dilling, Reg Coombs and Hilary Sturgeon who have all lost babies at Southmead or St Michael's hospitals

Chaplain Rev Stephen Oram and treasurer of the Bristol branch of SANDS Gordon Comley (centre) with Helen and Nigel Dilling, Reg Coombs and Hilary Sturgeon who have all lost babies at Southmead or St Michael's hospitals

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

REMEMBRANCE books for babies who have died prematurely or were stillborn have been donated to the region’s hospital.

The Bristol branch of stillbirth and neonotal death charity SANDS has handed over the bound books for families who have lost babies at Southmead and St Michael’s hospitals.

At Southmead, the books have been placed in the new multi-faith Sanctuary within the Brunel building.

Rev Stephen Oram, chaplaincy team leader for both North Bristol NHS Trust and United Bristol Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Books of remembrance for babies have been in place at both hospitals since the 1980s. It’s somewhere for families to come on anniversaries to reflect on their loss and to have a permanent reminder of their baby is very important for them.

“SANDS have provided three books for each hospital which will last us many years. We’re very grateful to them for their continued support.”

Gordon Comley, treasurer of the Bristol branch of SANDS, said: “It’s great to be able to help keep the tradition of remembrance going. The Sanctuary really is a beautiful place.”

Hilary Surgeon, from Bristol, lost her baby five years ago. She said: “Writing down their details in a book of remembrance is often the only permanent written reminder for families who have suffered a loss.”

SANDS holds two memorial services each year in Bristol in May and December to which parents can attend and remember their babies. The books are gathered from each hospital and taken to the services and put on display.

For more information about SANDS visit www.sandsbristol.org

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