A POIGNANT event has been held at Airedale Hospital for families affected by the loss of a baby.

A service included readings from three mums and by the hospital's lead chaplain, Liz Maitland.

Cullingworth Community Choir sang.

Babies' names were displayed on wooden butterfly bunting.

And after the service, packets of wildflower seeds were gifted to families – to be planted at a spot special to them.

The event was organised by the hospital's bereavement midwifery team – which runs the Sunbeam Support Group – and SiMBA, a charity that provides memory boxes to help parents preserve memories of the short time spent with their baby.

Bev Beaumont, a midwife at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This is an incredibly special event which hasn’t been possible over the last three years due to the pandemic, so we were very pleased to welcome families together again."

Amongst those present was Keighley dad Liam Daniel and friends who took part in the Edinburgh Marathon in support of SiMBA. They together raised over £3,000.

Liam said: "My son, Ralphie, was born sleeping.

"The midwives at Airedale took fantastic care of my wife and I during the days, weeks and even months after Ralphie was born.

"A few hours after his birth we were given a box containing lots of little keepsakes to make memories with Ralphie – we didn't realise at that time just how much this would mean to us now. These memory boxes are donated to hospitals by SiMBA, to allow parents who have lost their babies to make special memories at what is an incredibly difficult time."

He added: "I wanted to give something back to SiMBA, so I signed-up to do the Edinburgh Marathon along with two of my friends – Tom Storrie and Tom Snowdon. The money will go towards memory boxes for any future families which also sadly have to go through the most tragic time. We will be forever grateful for the care we received at Airedale and from Sunbeam."

SiMBA chief executive officer, Sara Fitzsimmons, also attended the service.

She said: "It was such a beautiful event, within the grounds of the Sunbeam Garden. Many of the parents took time afterwards to chat with me and it was clear the event had been missed during the pandemic."

For more about SiMBA, visit simbacharity.org.uk.

Further information about the Sunbeam Support Group can be found at facebook.com/sunbeamsupportkeighley.