Baby Loss Awareness Week: 9-15th October 2015
9th – 15th October is Baby Loss Awareness Week, now in its 13th year commemorating the loss of babies in pregnancy, during or after birth. The campaign also serves to bring the issues surrounding baby loss to the front of public awareness; 15th October is annually recognised worldwide as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
In 2013, parents across the UK were devastated by the loss of more than 5,700 babies. Sudden infant death syndrome, neonatal death and stillbirth are connected by the same tragic issues, requiring research, greater funding and access to services assisting bereaved families. Since 2014, the charity SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death) has been central to coordinating the week, taking a leading role in promoting events and information in the UK.
For the second year, designjunction, one of London Design Festival’s most popular events running between 24th and 27th September supported London charity Teddy’s Wish via its A Child’s Dream project. Like SANDS, Teddy’s Wish supports parents and families affected by sudden infant death syndrome, neonatal death and stillbirth.
“They say ‘elephants never forget’. Nor do bereaved parents.”
The collaboration between A Child’s Dream and Vitra saw the iconic Eames Elephant used as a focal point of the fundraising campaign. Designers including Zandra Rhodes, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Sir Kenneth Grange and Gensler each customised an elephant using prints, patterns and finishes to complete a herd of beautifully realised pieces installed in Victoria House for the duration of the event. An auction of the elephants raised more than £9,500 after a two-week bidding period which opened on 23rd September.
“We want to continue to raise funds and awareness to ensure fewer babies die in the future and to support families unfortunate enough to suffer the agony of child loss.” Jennifer Reid, Teddy’s Wish
Teddy’s Wish was founded by Jennifer and Chris Reid following the loss of their three-month-old son Edward in 2014 to sudden infant death syndrome, formerly known as cot death. The charity works alongside other organisations including SANDS and The Lullaby Trust, and since its launch has raised over £100,000 in donations.
Baby Loss Awareness Week encourages people to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on 15th October by lighting a candle at 7pm to leave burning for at least an hour. Lit candles will signify unity as part of a global “wave of light” with those whose lives were briefly lit by precious lives all too sadly lost. Pin badges can also be purchased via the SANDS online shop or other charities involved. For a full list of charities click here.