Above: Pictured with SIMBA equipment being provided for NHS Western Isles for Barra community: Veronica Gordon, Midwife, and Paul Daly, member of Western Isles Maternity Services Liaison Committee.

The community midwifery service on the Isle of Barra have now been generously gifted a Cuddle Cot through a donation made possible from fundraising by Leigh and Adam, parent’s of Madelyn Jess Gordon, who sadly passed away two days after being born in August 2015.

Leigh said, “We were very lucky to have spent two days with Madelyn while she was being cared for in the neonatal unit, but having the use of the cuddle cot in the family room also meant we did not have to say goodbye as soon as her treatment was withdrawn. We could spend more time with her, without tubes and wires in the way of her little face.”

Pregnancy can be one of the most wondrous experiences for a woman. Many women bond with their babies early on in pregnancy, especially when they feel the baby’s first movements and their own bodies begin to show the first signs of the life inside of them. When a woman loses a baby during pregnancy and around the time of birth it can be a very traumatic experience for her, her partner and others close to them.

Leigh added, “We learned a lot about the work SiMBA does and were sad to find out that not everyone would have had the same chance as us, since not every maternity unit has a cuddle cot. It was important for us to try and raise the money to donate one in Madelyn's name as every bereaved parent should have the same opportunity to spend as much time with their baby as they'd like to.”

SiMBA, which has been supported in its fundraising efforts by the generosity of many individuals, organisations and businesses, is aimed to help families who have suffered the loss of a baby, regardless of their geographical location.   SiMBA endeavours to be instrumental in bereaved families support through families supporting families, being ‘reactive’ to individual needs.  

Catherine Macdonald, NHS Western Isles Maternity Ward Manager, said: “Through SiMBA’s generosity, memory boxes are provided to parents as a treasure chest of mementos such as “the blanket of love”, birth acknowledgement certificate, hand and foot prints and photographs.

“We are very fortunate that national donations towards SiMBA equipment are used throughout the UK, which has enabled our islands to benefit and subsequently help local families affected by the tragic loss of their baby.  We already have equipment located within Western Isles Hospital to assist families in Lewis and Harris, with further equipment to be made available to assist families in the Uists.  We are also grateful to SiMBA for the training, resources and support provided within the Western Isles with staff and families alike.

The local support group for bereaved families 'Sèimh' pledge to undertake a fundraising event each year or make a donation to contribute to the work of Simba.

SiMBA through direct contact, conferences, word of mouth have introduced their Memory Boxes throughout Scotland, England and Wales from the largest of maternity and neonatal units to the very smallest of hospitals making sure no parent ever goes without. SiMBA also gifts them individually to parents upon request.


 Above: Staff from Clach Mhile Surgery with Cuddle Cot being provided for NHS Western Isles for Barra community: Anne Marie Macmillan, Practice Manager, Veronica Gordon, Midwife, and Dr. Scott McMinn


The full article can be vierwed at :