Special Christmas memory trees for babies at North Manchester General Hospital

Memory Tree
Special Christmas memory trees for babies at North Manchester General Hospital
15 December 2015

MEMBERS of the public, patients and staff are being invited to remember a baby that they have lost, via a special Christmas memory tree.

The Christmas tree has been planted in the baby memorial garden at North Manchester General Hospital and staff and the public can decorate the tree with a bauble or decoration, along with a personal message if they wish to do so.

The tree has been donated by the North Manchester Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) group which aims to support anyone affected by the death of a baby.

Michelle Morgan, who is a member of the group and a healthcare assistant on the maternity unit at North Manchester General Hospital, said: “At a traditional time of rejoicing and celebration, Christmas can be a particularly emotional time for people who have sadly lost a baby.  With this is mind, North Manchester General Hospital and the SANDS group has erected a special memories tree in the baby memorial garden next to the occupational health department on the hospital site.

"Anyone is invited to come at any time of the day or night and hang a personal message, decoration or bauble on the tree.  Alternatively they can drop their decoration off with me on the labour ward at the hospital and I will hang it on the tree for them.”

The tree will be available to be decorated in the garden from 1 December until 1 January.

Cathy Trinick, head of maternity at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which runs North Manchester General Hospital, said: “At this very special time of year it is a time for reflection for both our families and our staff who have been touched by the loss of a baby. With the support of SANDS we believe this is a fitting way to remember our babies and a small gesture to allow families and staff to share their thoughts and memories.”

There will also be a memories and wishes tree outside the labour ward at the hospital where members of the public, patients and staff can post a message to share their good wishes and memories.

Special gift tags are available next to the tree for messages to be written on and these will then be tied on to the tree.  The messages could be a get well wish for someone currently in hospital or a remembrance message for a loved one who has died.

The North Manchester SANDS group can be contacted on 07790053309.

Pictured left to right: Bernie Parkin, ward clerk; Michelle Morgan, healthcare assistant; Lin Hulston, healthcare assistant; Dr Jain, consultant and Collette Riley, midwife.