WE are sorry to have to inform you that we have had to defer this year’s ‘Loved and Lost Baby Service which was due to be held on Saturday 11th of April, at the Chapel/Quiet Room, Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen.

The decision to reschedule is in response to the Covid-19 virus and as colleagues from the Chaplaincy and Midwifery and Neo-Natal unit and Gynaecology we recognise it is a sad thing to do.  We are so aware that this annual service brings people together: parents, grandparents, siblings, who have experienced such significant loss in their life.

In the knowledge that this commemoration and its set date of the Saturday before Easter has been ongoing for over 20 years, and that some of you including staff have attended since the out-set.  This deferment has been made in consideration and to comply with Government directives. The safety of attendees and staff whose welfare is at the forefront of our thinking.

The service is designed to bring us together to recall, to offer peace and to remember with love and to look forward with hope. Whilst we realise that this postponement may be disappointing, we are considering an alternative date as I know that you wish to mark your loss annually.  Subject to Welsh Government and NHS advice we will consider a later date in 2020 and we will use the media to advise you.   The date for the 2021 service is Saturday 3rd April.

For those of you who attended the 2019 you may recall the service was recorded and ‘Hidden Loss’ already broadcast on three occasions is repeated on BBC Radio Wales (MW) on Thursday 9th April 2020 at 6.30pm.  The programme explores the difficult and rarely discussed subject of baby loss and we hear of the variety of different losses and the long-term epic journey, it’s sorrow but also of the strength of those who have been impacted, and the hope that has sustained them.

Therefore, on behalf of the Hywel Dda University Health Board, I would like to apologise, especially to those of you who have already made arrangements to attend. Unfortunately, these are circumstances which were beyond our control and I will personally light the candle of Hope on the 11th April and place a special note on the Memorial Tree commending babies called to rest too soon and their families.

If you need additional support please contact Euryl, Senior Chaplain on euryl.howells2@wales.nhs.uk

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