A POIGNANT memorial service to bring comfort to families affected by the loss of a baby or child is to be held.

The 'Shared Memories Service' will be held at the Listening for Life Centre, at the Bradford Royal Infirmary, on Saturday (December 7) at 11am.

It will be a simple event which will allow a quiet space to remember and reflect.

It is open to all – those with faith and those with no faith – and as in previous years, it will be based around a children’s story, which deals with the concept of death and bereavement.

This year the chosen book is ‘Gentle Willow’ by author, Joyce C. Mills. The service will also feature appropriate music and poems.

Hospital chaplain, Joe Fielder said: “We know that the journey of grief can be slow and painful, and that the experience of loss can be wide – from early miscarriage to the death of a baby or a child.

"But we also think that it can be helpful and supportive to gather together and to remember with others, who have shared a similar heartache.

“The memorial event gives families the opportunity to talk to each other before and after the service, and that support is as much a key part as the service itself.

"In our time together we will use a mixture of different things to remember and reflect: hearing a story, the simple making of tokens, music and space for quiet reflection. Through all these things we will remember those we have loved and lost.

“We very much welcome individuals, couples or families. We especially cater for siblings and will have a separate children’s programme for children in an adjacent room. Their journey of grief also needs support.”

People are encouraged to bring along any photographs or mementos of their child which can be placed on a special memory table.

Families who have lost children or babies at the Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's hospitals in the past two years have been sent invitations to attend but anyone else who thinks they would benefit from the occasion is welcome to attend.

It will last around 55 minutes plus time for refreshments.

For further details, contact the Chaplaincy department on 01274 365819 or e-mail dawn.arnison@bthft.nhs.uk.

The Bradford Hospitals' Charity has provided funding for the event, which has enabled to the provision of food, drink and refreshments and craft materials.