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Sands charity hold memorial a year after unveiling tree at Ray Mill Island

Support group Sands is holding a memorial around the tree it unveiled a year ago.

Berkshire Sands offers support to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby and is an arm of the national charity Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

Last July it unveiled a metal tree at Ray Mill Island, in Boulters Lock which allows parents to have a leaf, engraved with their baby (or babies) name(s) and date of birth attached to it.

Helen Quinby, Berkshire SANDS Fundraising and Awareness said: “It provides parents and families a special place to visit to remember their babies.

“Families can visit together giving children the opportunity to talk about their siblings in a positive and relaxed place where they are free to run around and play unlike a cemetery or crematorium.”

The first annual memorial around the tree will be held on Sunday, June 9 where anyone affected by the death of a baby is welcome to attend from 11am.

There will be a short non-denominational service and volunteer befrienders from Berkshire Sands will be available to offer support.

Those attending will also be offered the opportunity to light a candle in a jar, labelled with their baby (or babies) names, to place around the memorial tree.

Held in June, the memorial coincides with Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Awareness Month, which is a national awareness month within the UK established by Sands in 1996.

This year the theme of the month is ‘#FindingYourWay after pregnancy loss and baby loss and seeking support in a way that is right for you’.

Helen said: “We particularly want to highlight that men can be affected in a different way to women and make sure men of all ages get the support they need in the way they need it.”

Berkshire Sands supports families locally through monthly support group, Rainbow baby group and Sunshine and Rainbows sessions.

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