Baby Loss Awareness Week or #BLAW may be over for another year but its impact on Forever Stars and families across the UK has been profound.
Nottingham’s skyline was transformed, as its iconic buildings were lit up Pink and Blue to mark the annual event and remember babies who die during or after childbirth. It was all part of Baby Loss Awareness Week, held from 9th to 15th October to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK.
The campaign is a collaboration between more than 60 charities across the UK, including Nottingham-based Forever Stars, which is dedicated to supporting families who’ve suffered a stillbirth or infant loss.
Richard Daniels, co-founder of Nottingham-based Forever Stars reflected on a week and a night that got people across the city, country and even the globe to #TalkAboutThem;
‘This has been an incredibly moving, rewarding and ultimately very successful week. We set out to remember babies who die during or after childbirth but what we’ve also been a part of is a movement. This is a movement with a very simple aim, get people to talk about baby loss.
‘It is a hugely difficult subject to broach for so many, whether we have experienced it ourselves, know family or friends who have or maybe work with or for someone who has. By being a part of this fantastic campaign we have reached so many people, not just here in our city but across the globe. We’ve sold over 600 charity badges as far afield as New York and heard from people in Australia, Malaysia, Canada and New Zealand.
‘Closer to home we’ve had people raising over £5000 in a mass skydiving effort and even had local pubs and breweries help us to raise baby loss as a talking point with a special pint of ‘Pink and Blue’ courtesy of Great Northern Inns. Meanwhile, Castle Rock allowed us to place awareness posters and collection shakers in 16 of their Nottinghamshire pubs and the Keans Head also had a quiz night for us. This has opened up an entirely new conversation, especially for fathers.
‘Our Facebook page has reached over 100,000 people and our stories have been shared nearly 1000 times. Over on Twitter we reached just under 100,000 who wanted to share our message or learn more about our work and the work of other organisations all of whom want to make a massive difference. We’ve had 180 comments on social media offering support, encouragement and understanding but the main thing is we have opened up the entire subject to debate, discussion and a wider audience.’