The aim of providing Family Rooms within maternity units is to offer parents the opportunity to spend further precious time with and prepare to say goodbye to their baby in peaceful and private accommodation.  They are ideally positioned away from the main wards but with maternity staff and medical facilities on hand.  Family members and friends may also visit if desired.

SiMBA provides funding to agreed budgets and works closely with the hospitals to meet their specific needs.  We will try to identify those rooms with adjoining bathroom / shower facilities.  SiMBA then arranges the decoration of the room (usually by volunteer supporters) then sources appropriate soft furnishings and furniture to create a tranquil surrounding, encouraging maternity staff to get involved in completing the Family Rooms so that they also play a key role.

Simpson’s Centre for Reproductive Health, Edinburgh

This is our inaugural Family Room and is situated near the postnatal area within the hospital. To give an idea of the effect of our transformation, we show below “before” and “after” pictures.

The refurbishment of this Family Room would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the undernoted individuals and organisations:-

Barbara Herkes (Counsellor SCRH) approached John Lewis Edinburgh Furnishing Advisory who kindly agreed to offer their design services free of charge. Funding was provided by Lothian Endowments Committee to pay for installation of a call bell assistance facility.

With the help of Pam Ross, HBOS plc, SiMBA was awarded a very generous grant of £5000 from the HBOS Foundation. £2500 of this was allocated towards the cost of decorating and refurbishing the Family Room. Not only that but 4 employees of HBOS plc (Sandra Adbulai, Pam Ross, Margaret Houlihan & Cameron McKay) gave up a weekend to paint the Family Room and secure the grant monies.


A Dedicatory Plaque in this Family Room reads:

Simpson’s Family Room

This room has been brought together as a special haven to provide warmth & comfort in peaceful surroundings to enable those who spend time here to have precious final moments together….

The room has been furnished by generous donations from SiMBA (Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal) who have overseen the project with the support of John Lewis Design Team, an ample donation from HBOS foundation as recognition of the sanctuary of this space, and Lothian Endowments Committee as an ongoing commitment to bereaved families.

‘Treasured Memories’
Opened 28th June 2007 ”

Borders General Hospital, Nr Melrose

SiMBA completed the refurbishment of the Family Room in March 2009.  Again this is an en-suite room just off the main maternity ward.  Midwife Suzie McFadzan was involved with SiMBA throughout this project and Maternity Assistant Alison Quinn also helped with the refurbishment of the Family Room.  Local painters Garry McShane and Bryan Carruthers also generously gave up their free time to prepare and repaint the Family Room.

Elaine Cockburn, Lead Nurse for Borders General Hospital said of the facility:- “Thank you so much for all your efforts in making the room a much more pleasant environment. Thank you once again for your good work, it is much appreciated by everyone here and I have no doubt it will be appreciated by parents too.”

Princess Royal Maternity, Glasgow

The allocated rooms that were previously used in the labour ward of the maternity unit were at the busiest end of the labour ward, parents often aware of the noisy surroundings. With the help of SiMBA the staff were able to move these facilities to the quiet end of the ward. This was a large project for SiMBA as we not only helped by providing comfortable chairs, furnishings and pictures for two Family Rooms, we also re-decorated and re-furnished their sitting room. Parents often have to spend time in the unit after the death of a baby has been diagnosed or after the delivery so the purpose of the sitting room opposite the Family Room is so parents have separate room to spend time in and family members can visit there too.


Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow

About 2 years ago a neonatal nurse Katrina came to me and asked if it would be possible 'to do something with their two rooms to make them look better for the parents who have to spend time there', so I visited the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow to see if SiMBA could help and that is what we set out to do.

We worked together as a team, myself Sara, Consultant Lesley, Management, Neonatal Nurses, Estates, Infection Control, Fire team and Lisa & Kris all putting our ideas forward. I asked parents what they would benefit from in a room and the plan started to evolve.

The Design Team listened to our ideas and the room started to blossom.

Many families have made donations and fundraised for the Lola Commons fund for SiMBA, our Family Room
Fund and without their input this would not have been possible so we are forever grateful for making projects like these come true.

Yesterday we officially unveiled the two rooms, one the 'Overnight Room' which has a sofa bed and The 'Butterfly Room'.

These rooms are a most special place, a place where we can't change the sadness of what happens in the rooms, time spent when a baby is dying or has died, but we can and have changed the feel and the sanctuary of the rooms. Those times spent making the most precious of memories, time together as a family, with family and friends, time that can never be replaced will now be time spent in the most perfect surroundings.

Thank you to the amazing Bereavement Team at the Queen Elizabeth Neonatal Unit, the Team at Grosvenor Interiors, the parents who came along to support our day, Iona & James Morrison, Heather Lawrence and Lewis MacKenzie and Colette & Tony Early and brother Kieran and to our SiMBA Ambassador and founder of the Lola Commons fund for SiMBA Lisa Hague and fiancée Kris Commons and to every other parent, family member and friend who have supported SiMBA and The Lola Commons Fund with fundraising and donations.