(Photos Ian Watson)
On the eve of Baby Loss Awareness week SiMBA are delighted to unveil the Lola Commons for SiMBA Family Room and Quiet Room at the Royal Alexandra maternity in Paisley, a project that has been in planning and discussions since 2013.
Lisa Hague, founder of the Lola Commons Fund for SiMBA and her fiancé Kris Commons, officially opened the family rooms today and fundraiser Tim Devaney and his wife Annick and son Zachary officially opened the quiet room after locally bereaved families fundraised over £30,000 to support the project.
We were honoured to have many of the families join us for the official unveiling, those who had been involved in the fundraising so they could see first hand these beautiful rooms.
The family room (pictured below), filled with 'forget me not' flowers, will provide an area for parents who are experiencing bereavement to stay from induction to delivery and for postnatal care so they can spend precious time with their baby. The family room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, a sofa bed so that parents can stay in the room together, a mini fridge, Bluetooth speaker, parent packs full of toiletries
Whilst the quiet room (pictured below), is specifically designed for families returning to the hospital to spend time with their baby, or see their babies name in the book of remembrance, with a cabinet specially designed for this purpose. A mini fridge and tea/coffee making facilities are also available in this room.
Both rooms are based on the footprint for the family rooms unveiled by Lisa and Kris in May last year in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The bathroom in the Family Room where we see the 'forget me not design' flowing through, is equally as beautiful. (photo Denise Kelly).
Sara Fitzsimmons MBE, Executive Director, SiMBA said "Many of the parents had been in the rooms during the time of their own loss, and although today was very emotional revisiting the rooms, it was however extremely moving knowing that these rooms will make a massive difference to future families.
I have been a practising midwife for 22 years working for 21 of those in the NHS. Working with a strong team is essential to the success of any project. From the beginning the team from Grosvenor Interiors have guided us through every single step, listening to the voice of the parents through their contact with SiMBA, carrying our original design blueprint into these new rooms. Every member of the team pulled together knowing how vitally important rooms such as these can be. The difference that Family Rooms can make to a parents experience within the hospital is incredible, allowing precious time together that isn’t rushed.
From left to right - Jackie Crawford, April Commons, Lisa Hague, Kris Commons, Sara Fitzsimmons, Dorothy Finlay
These rooms at the Royal Alexandra Hospital have been created with passion, using the experiences and suggestions from bereaved families and staff and I am so very proud to be able to unveil them to some of the families who have fundraised so hard to support this project today.”
Evelyn Frame, NHSGGC’s head of Midwifery said: “This is such a tragic time for these families, so anything we can do to make things a little easier for them is to be welcomed. We are very grateful for the support of SiMBA and all those who have fundraised to make this room possible. We hope the new Family Room brings some comfort to women and their families at a very difficult time in their lives and allows them to create some lasting memories.”
Lisa and Kris were delighted with the rooms, Lisa said:
“These rooms have exceeded my expectations, Kris and I have been involved from the beginning so we shouldn’t have been surprised but I can only say they are breath taking, so tranquil. When we were speaking to other members of hospital staff they were telling us how proud they were of the rooms and that made us feel incredibly proud.”
Talking about baby loss awareness week and her involvement in the 'Labour of Love' documentary which was premiered on the 2nd of October and will be shown tomorrow on the 9th October at 9pm on BBC Alba (TV channel)Lisa said : “It was mine and Kris pleasure as a family to be involved in this project, when Lola passed away we didn’t know one other family that had been through this and now after people have seenthis we hope that any families affected can relate to at least one family and know that help and support is out there.”
We would like to say a special thank you to Altro for the very kind donation of the flooring for both rooms. The team there understand the need for these rooms and offered their services so the rooms would look complete. Also a special thanks to Bell Group for kindly donating their materials, expertise and time to paint both rooms. It's companies such as theirs that make projects like ours possible.