Bereaved parents, Sophie and Rich Newman have taken steps to help improve bereavement aftercare for families experiencing pregnancy and baby loss, by walking 24 miles and raising over £1,900 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal.

The £3.5 million appeal will see a brand new, stand-alone bereavement centre brought to the hospital, a cause which resonated with the Dursley-based husband and wife after sadly losing two babies, Lori and Eddie, during pregnancy themselves.

Remembering such a heart-breaking time in their lives, the couple were determined to make a difference for other families going through the same painful experience and amidst their research they came across the Woodland House Appeal. Sophie and Rich could relate only too well as they read how the new space at the hospital would be created to reflect the significance of a family’s loss and provide a private haven for them to spend time together until they feel ready to face the world again.

Pumped with passion, Sophie and Rich planned a fitting challenge in memory of their babies and left their two young sons, Leo (five) and Kit (one) with relatives as they drove all the way from their home in Gloucestershire to Birmingham to take on a mammoth 24-mile adventure from Birmingham Women’s Hospital to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, where there’s a memorial garden for babies gone too soon. The next morning the couple laced up their walking boots and set off in the sunshine. Spurred on by passers-by noticing their charity t-shirts, after a seven-hour trek, the couple made it to their destination.

Sophie said: “When we lost Lori and then Eddie, each time we just felt so lost. While In hospital we were quite often surrounded by families having healthy pregnancies when we were waiting for results we just didn’t want to hear and it is heart-breaking. Just having a separate space to go and be away from all of that would have helped us immensely in our grieving process.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “We know that we can never ease the heart-break of losing a precious baby but by bringing Woodland House to our hospital, we can create a space that recognises and honours that loss, and create somewhere that will set a new standard of bereavement care nationally for families. Sophie and Rich know exactly how important the new bereavement centre will be to our families and not only have their incredible efforts brought us another step closer to making it a reality, but by bravely sharing their story, they’ve brought the topic of pregnancy and baby loss to the forefront.”

With Baby Loss Awareness Week starting tomorrow (9-15 October), Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity is trying to break the silence around pregnancy and baby loss with its #Take10At10 campaign. The charity is asking members of the public to pause for a moment at 10am on Saturday 10 October to think of those experiencing pregnancy and baby loss and then to post a message of support on social media with the #Take10At10 hashtag and a selfie or photo of their choice.

To get involved with Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity’s Woodland House Appeal or make a donation, click here.