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Baby memories unite families in Thatcham

Wave of light ceremony remembers lost babies and comforts bereaved familes

Baby memories unite families in Thatcham

A WAVE of light emanated from Thatcham as families gathered to remember babies taken too soon. 

Around 70 people joined West Berkshire Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (Sands) to light candles in memory of their beloved babies at the London Road Cemetery on Sunday, October 15.

The national event is held on that day, marking the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week and International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Chairwoman of West Berkshire Sands Rachel Telford said the event had been sad, but comforting. 

Mrs Telford’s twin sons, Sam and Ben, recited two poems that were read at their younger brother’s funeral.

Another bereaved grandmother read a poem she had written in memory of her grandchild.

The cemetery is owned by Thatcham Town Council, which also opened up the chapel for Sands on the night. 

As reported in the Newbury Weekly News, the charity is fundraising for a memorial garden at the London Road cemetery, to serve as a “beautiful, colourful tribute”.

Wave of Light helped raise £131.40 towards the £30,000 project, however Mrs Telford said: “It wasn’t really about fundraising for us, it was about remembering our babies and lighting up the skies for them.

“It is fundamental for bereaved families to keep the memory of their babies alive, so remembrance evenings like this are a great place to go and be with other people who have suffered the same heartbreaking loss and coming together to remember our angels.

“The mood of the evening was one of sadness and also comfort given that we were all there together showing our babies how much they are loved and missed.”

The charity has received designs for the memorial garden, which need to be presented to Thatcham Town Council for approval.

Mrs Telford said she was hopeful of having the garden finished by next year. But the dream is dependent on how quickly funds can be raised. 

Although West Berkshire Sands falls under the national organisation, it is run independently and needs funds to run.

It currently has £597 of the £30,000 needed for the memorial garden and donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wbs-memorial-garden or by contacting chair.westberkshiresands@gmail.com    

Town councillors said that they needed to see more details about the memorial garden before they could give the go-ahead. 

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