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Bereavement suite welcomes donations from local college

May 2019

A suite used by bereaved families at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has received a welcome donation from staff at a local college.

The Learning Support and Resources team at Wigan and Leigh College donated items for the Pearl Suite at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, which is used by women and their families who have suffered a pregnancy loss, every day over Lent as part of their #letlovegrow challenge. Set to each of the departments at the college by their Chaplaincy Team, the initiative encouraged acts of kindness amongst staff and students.

Joanne Heyes, Learning Resources Facilitator at Wigan and Leigh College, suggested the Pearl Suite as their chosen recipients for the challenge after she suffered her own devastating loss.

Joanne said; “Our daughter, Charlotte, was stillborn in June 2017 and we were able to spend some precious time with her in the Pearl suite.

“We were extremely well looked after following Charlotte’s birth and were given teddies and blankets for her.”


Pictured: Joanne Heyes with midwives

“This gesture offered us great comfort knowing that she wasn’t alone once we had to say goodbye and I thought it would be lovely to give something back to couples in a similar situation along with the help from my colleagues.”

Over the 40 days of Lent, gifts such as toiletries, sanitary products, biscuits and tiny baby clothes were all added to the stockpile.

Audrey Livesey, Maternity Matron said; “What the college staff have done for us is such a lovely and kind idea. The thought behind this idea will be appreciated by both the ladies and their families who use the room as well as the staff.

“We’re very thankful to Joanne and the team for their support and I’m sure their kind donations will provide much comfort and support during such a difficult time.”

Shelley Nuttall said; “Wigan and Leigh is a college at the heart of the community it serves and as such, we are privileged to be able to support the community through initiatives like #LetLoveGrow.

“I have been truly overwhelmed by the generosity of staff in the department, an incredible amount of items were donated for the Pearl suite and everyone really got behind the challenge.”

The Pearl Suite opened in 2016 and is used by parents and families as a quiet, private place to create precious final memories with their baby.