Fundraisers’ generosity sees special bereavement room open at West Suffolk Hospital

Jo and Paul Rayner and their son Thomas cutting the ribbon to open the room
Jo and Paul Rayner and their son Thomas cutting the ribbon to open the room

A special bereavement room which will provide a calm space where families can receive support following the loss of a baby has officially opened at West Suffolk Hospital thanks to the generosity of fundraisers.

The suite, which has been created in space previously taken by offices on the labour corridor, will be used by families whose baby is stillborn. It will mean they can deliver without having the distress of transferring to the labour suite, and can also be offered psychological and practical support in calm and comfortable surroundings.

Jo and Paul Rayner and their son Thomas cutting the ribbon to open the room

Jo and Paul Rayner and their son Thomas cutting the ribbon to open the room

The new room has been given a homely feel, with any medical equipment stored away from view. It has been paid for with the help of £25,000 raised by local people for the hospital’s My WiSH charity.

Lynne Saunders, acting head of midwifery, said: “We are delighted that work on this important room is now complete. It provides a homely, calm space where we can provide dedicated help to families who have sadly lost a baby.

“The bereavement room has been carefully decorated, with all medical equipment kept out of sight, and will mean we can give women and their partners the support they need away from the main labour suite.”

Sue Smith, fundraising manager with My WiSH, said: “We are incredibly grateful to all of our fundraisers, as without them we would not have been able to create this important space. Their generosity will make a real difference to families during a very difficult time.”

Paul Rayner, who together with his wife Jo raised £10,000 for the room through a charity ball, said: “Our son Thomas was born seven weeks prematurely in 2010 and spent nearly three weeks in the neo-natal unit. The care the staff provided to both Thomas and to Jo and I was superb, and we couldn’t thank them enough.

“We arranged the ball as a result, and were all too pleased to support the bereavement room. We were lucky and came out of hospital with a child, but others are not as fortunate. We hope that the room will make a real difference to them at a tough time.”

Dave Gooderham, who also raised money through an auction and completing the three peaks challenge, after his son George was born prematurely, said: “I wanted to give something back to my local hospital and in total raised £10,000.

“I was delighted to be able to support West Suffolk – it was my way of saying thank you.”