Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity is one step closer to bringing a standalone bereavement centre to its hospital, for families experiencing pregnancy or baby loss, as recent donations mean there is just £500,000 to go before it can break ground on this pioneering project. 

The Woodland House Appeal has captured the support of the general public, local businesses, as well as other national organisations, since its launch in April 2019. The latest fundraising total stands at £2.1m following a number of recent gifts, including £200,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The focus is now on raising a further £500,000 to get the charity to its next milestone, of £2.6m, which will enable the hospital to begin building the much-needed centre.

Miranda Williams, head of public fundraising at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “We set out on this mission almost three years ago with the aim of breaking the taboo surrounding pregnancy and baby loss, so that our families, and eventually all families who are going though the most heartbreaking of times, don’t need to suffer in silence and can receive the bereavement aftercare they need and deserve. We’re now so close to reaching that goal.”

Approximately 2,000 women experience loss at Birmingham Women’s Hospital every year. Currently, space within the hospital is limited and as such difficult conversations take place in rooms and locations that don’t reflect the significance of a family’s loss. Patients often speak of feeling rushed and of having ‘nowhere to go’ after receiving devastating news.

Woodland House will be the first of its kind in a hospital setting and act as a blueprint for other hospitals up and down the country. When complete, the bereavement centre will be a safe-haven, away from the hustle and bustle of the maternity wards, where families can grieve in private and get the support they need. 

It will feature separate and private access and will boast bespoke counselling rooms, a private garden, a large communal lounge area for support groups, and a family room with its own private access and garden. It will also have a private and sensitive viewing room for families returning to see their baby, offering families the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones in comfort and serenity.

Miranda continues: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received to-date but now urgently need the public’s help to raise the next £500,000, to allow us to put a spade in the ground and make Woodland House a reality, so we can create a space that truly recognises and honours pregnancy and baby loss.”