Colleagues from an Ayrshire Co-op Funeralcare will hold their fourth baby memorial service on Saturday 16 October.
And staff at the Cumnock outlet are encouraging the local community to come together to offer support and reassurance to grieving families during Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Inspired by her own story of devastating loss, when her baby girl was stillborn in 1997, funeral planner Gillian Patrick was determined to commemorate what would have been her 21st birthday by hosting a baby memorial service in 2018.
Along with colleagues in five homes in the Co-op Ayr Care Center area, Gillian has held these memorial services every year since, with the upcoming event marking her fourth anniversary.
The memorial will take place in the babies section of Cumnock Cemetery at 11 a.m.
Local clergy will be present during the service and guests will then be invited to return to the hall of St Andrew’s United Free Church for refreshments.
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Ahead of the ceremony, colleagues are urging local residents to drop by the branch and pick up candles they can light during the Global Wave of Light on Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m.
Additionally, those who wish to help better support bereaved families who have lost a child can do so by making a donation at the baby’s memorial service, with all proceeds going to Ayrshire Baby Loss Support.
For those who cannot attend the service, there will be a memory walk organized by Ayrshire Baby Loss Support.
It will take place on Saturday October 9 in Ayr and aims to raise awareness at the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
Gillian said: “Having lived through my own devastating loss, I know that sadly many people suffer in silence because this is an incredibly difficult subject to talk about.
“We hope that through our work in the community, we can raise awareness and encourage people to speak more openly about this topic in a safe and supportive space.
“Parents and families tell us that they want to find a way to remember their baby in a way that is right for them and that there is no right or wrong way to do it.
“We encourage anyone in the local community who has experienced a trauma related to the loss of a child, or knows someone who has suffered, to attend the memorial where it will be possible to seek comfort from others. who may have had a similar experience. “
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