Memorial bench for babies and children at Crowborough Cemetery

A charity which provide help and support to those affected by the loss of a baby before, during or shortly after birth has placed a memorial bench at the Herne Road Cemetery in Crowborough.

Memorial bench at the Herne Road cemetery in Crowborough. The inscription reads: “In memory of all the precious babies and children laid to rest in these grounds. Tunbridge Wells Sands.”

The Tunbridge Wells group of the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (Sands) has a Memorial Garden in the Kent & Sussex Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells, however because they know that babies and children are buried at other cemeteries in the area they wanted to ensure something was in place for other grieving parents and relatives.  So recently Sands has placed memorial benches in Paddock Wood, Maidstone and Tonbridge cemeteries, as well as in Crowborough.

Although Sands are based in Tunbridge Wells, they want to emphasise they support those affected by the loss of a baby in the wider area.

This year Sands are the Charity of the Year for Sainsbury’s Local on Crowborough Hill and they hope to have supporters outside the supermarket collecting on 7th October, to coincide with the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week.

The latest data from National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit based at the University of Oxford shows that 15 babies die every day in the UK either before, during or shortly after birth.  Whilst the number of deaths has fallen in recent years,  more lives could be saved with improvements to both care and our understanding of how to protect babies.

Tunbridge Well Sands are working with the recently appointed specialist Bereavement Midwife at Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury to further improve facilities for bereaved parents including equipping a second Bereavement Suite where parents can be together away from the delivery rooms after a loss, furnishing a “Quiet Room” in the scan area and funding the purchase of equipment and specialist training that would not otherwise be funded by the NHS.

For details of the work being undertaken by Sands and the support they offer parents and families in our area, please see their website: tunbridgewellssands.org.

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