A specially created memorial garden close to the Women and Children’s unit at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary has been unveiled.
It coincided with National Baby Loss Awareness Week which is of great significance to the charity that supports parents who have been bereaved by the loss of their baby.
The Dumfries and Galloway branch of SANDS has a long standing relationship with NHS maternity services in the region and works with them to support families locally who suffer the loss of a baby during pregnancy or in the neonatal period.
Dr David Hall, chairman of Sands Scotland and Trustee Sands UK, said: “Having previously funded the creation and upkeep of the Rainbow Room at the former DGRI for parents bereaved losing a baby, funds were raised to develop a similar facility at the new hospital and plans for a memorial garden at DGRI were agreed.
“Through the amazing support of the people of Dumfries and Galloway sufficient monies were raised to create two funds, one ensuring the ongoing provision of the Rainbow Room at the new DGRI and one to develop the garden with the specially created sculptures by Max Nowell.
“We are delighted that our vision for a space at the newly built acute hospital, internally and externally, to provide comfort for bereaved parents and their families and friends has become a reality.”
Sculptor Max said: “I have no direct experience of the loss of a child but, while I was working on the Sands sculpture at a local cemetery, it became very clear to me how deep and lasting the effects of such a loss can be.
“While I was thinking about this project, I felt that the attributes of a stone circle might be of some comfort to people whose circumstances had brought them to the nearby unit and that if they spent a few minutes within a circle of roughly human-sized stones they might remember all of the people around them who loved and protected them at that time.
“There are ties and bonds between all people involved in the loss of a baby and I hoped that my rope carvings might symbolise that.”