Festival Place in Basingstoke will show its support for Baby Loss Awareness Week 2023 by lighting its cinema tower pink and blue and inviting customers to visit a special memorial tree.
The national event, which runs from October 9-15, aims to raise awareness of pregnancy and baby loss by turning buildings and landmarks pink and blue across the UK.
For the second year running, the shopping centre will support the event by joining forces with Rebecca Merritt-Dickins, who will be placing a memory tree in the Customer Lounge at Festival Place for the duration of the week.
People will be able to attach tags with hand-written messages to the branches of the tree, which will sit alongside an information stand on baby loss with leaflets and small gifts.
Rebecca has been working to raise awareness of baby loss after her daughter, Norianwe – Nori – died aged just 10 weeks in 2022.
Nori was born in Basingstoke 26 weeks into Rebecca’s pregnancy, weighing just 1lb 6oz.
Rushed straight to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Nori suffered a bleed on the brain, which led to a build-up of fluid causing hydrocephalus.
After four weeks, Rebecca and her husband Sean, who live in Black Dam, made the difficult decision to put their daughter onto palliative care. A week later they asked for their daughter to be moved back to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital Neonatal Unit, where they were able to spend their remaining time together.
Since losing their baby girl in June 2022, Rebecca has gone on to raise funds for the Basingstoke Neonatal Unit and set up the Ducks for Nori blog and instagram to help other bereaved parents.
Rebecca said: “BLAW is so special to both me and so many families as it’s a way to remember and celebrate all the little lives that have gone too soon. Without BLAW and these events we do, nobody would breach the subject of baby loss. That’s why I talk about Nori, because if I don’t start the conversation, no one will. Everybody wants their little babies to be remembered.”
Festival Place Head of Marketing Emily Palmer said: “We are so pleased to be able to support Rebecca, and all those remembering their precious babies.
“We hope our iconic tower shining pink and blue will help raise awareness of pregnancy and baby loss during this important week.”