President of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (GBCC), Steve Allen, has announced that Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House appeal will be his President’s charity of the year.

During the next 12 months, the GBCC will be raising money for the appeal which will see the construction of a purpose-built £3.5m bereavement centre at the Women’s Hospital, the first to be established in a hospital setting.

Every year, approximately 2,000 women and families at Birmingham Women’s Hospital are given bereavement news following the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

Designed following patient feedback, which advocated the need for a standalone facility that was quiet and private, Woodland House will be the first of its kind in a hospital setting and set a new national standard of care for bereaved families.

To understand more about the appeal and why the new centre is needed, Steve was taken on a tour around the hospital by director of fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, Louise McCathie and head of corporate nursing at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Nicki Fitzmaurice.

Steve Allen, also head of Birmingham office and partner at Mills and Reeve, said: “I’m really pleased to be supporting Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal.

“Having spoken to the team at the Women’s Hospital and understanding what these women and families have to go through after suffering such devastating loss, it is a stark reality of how important this project really is. This centre will set the new national standard of care and support for families.

“It is a crystal clear example of innovation, the theme of my Chamber presidency, and at the core of what is happening here, innovative ideas and projects which are recognised nationally and contribute to the ongoing renaissance of Birmingham.”

Louise McCathie said: “We were so pleased to welcome Steve to our hospital, so that he could see first-hand just what we’re trying to achieve with Woodland House, and why it is so desperately needed.

“Our hope for Woodland House is that it will not only benefit our bereaved parents and families. Instead, by taking the lead in creating a dedicated centre, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy hospital setting, we will create a blueprint that can be used nationally to ensure that families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss across the country get the care they deserve.

“We thank Steve and Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce for joining us on this important journey, and look forward to working with other chamber members in setting a new standard of care for bereaved families.”