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#SiMBA  Responding to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby.


Robert Chapman @boabcjnr_25 , one of our Glasgow support group facilitators and partner, KellyLouise Ballantyne @19kellylouise89 today will hold their third Sofia Chapman football tournament, today, Sunday 18th February, the Sofia Chapman World Cup will be played at Soccer World in Glasgow. Good luck to all the teams and thank you for raising vital funds for SiMBA and the @lisanapril85 Lola Commons fund for SiMBA.
Sofia was born still at 22 weeks and three days of pregnancy, 11 days or 264 hours ‘before’ viability! If she had been born at 24 weeks she would have existed in law, Robert and KellyLouise would have received a certificate to say this. Robert and KellyLouise had to sign forms in hospital, they had to sign forms to arrange her funeral, but devastatingly if you were to search for her in a family tree, she doesn’t exist! In Roberts words, he speaks about her chubby cheeks and long eyelashes, how can anyone say she didn’t exist. Roberts writes about Sofia, and will continue to raise awareness and hopes that one day there will be a register, some sort of legal certificate that all babies born still, under 24 weeks will exist in the eyes of the legal system.
Read and follow Roberts story here https://264hoursforsofia.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/why-nobody-cares-about-viability/

Have an amazing football tournament and thank you for everything you do and for your continued support to SiMBA. #Sofia #264hours #awareness #babyloss #makingadifference

Today we are launching our 'Walk for #TeamSiMBA' #TeamLola in the Kiltwalk campaign. Our aims are HIGH, but with your help, achievable.
We are looking for 250 people to sign up and walk either 6, 13 or 26 miles for our charity in either Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Edinburgh, or if you are looking for a real challenge why don’t you sign up for all four events! Why don’t you Join our SiMBA Ambassador @lisanapril85 walking 26miles in the Glasgow @kiltwalk
All monies raised in 2018 will be topped up by the Hunter Foundation by an amazing 40%. If your target is £100, SiMBA will receive £140 AND if you work for an organisation that match funds an amazing £280 would be raised for SiMBA to continue the vital work that we do to support bereaved families
To find out more about this event and how you can sign up today click on this link:
www.simbacharity.org.uk/fundraising-events/ #kiltwalk #fundraising #challenge #youcandoit #makingadifference #babyloss

We had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful midwives and students at yesterday’s Midwifery & Maternity conference in London. We met contacts that we already have built up relationships with, putting faces to voices/emails and met many more healthcare professionals who would like to see our Memory Boxes on their wards so they too can gift them to bereaved parents at the time of the loss of their baby. You all do an amazing job @nhsmillion @national_health_service Keep up the amazing work you do, thank you. #babyloss #makingadifference #makingmemories ‘Responding to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby’. www.simbacharity.org.uk

We are at the Maternity & Midwifery Festival in London today, receiving excellent feedback about our Memory Boxes. #newcontacts #makingadifference #memories #stillbirth #babyloss

On the run up to Christmas we did a ‘Donate a SiMBA Memory Box’ campaign which we had an excellent response to. Thank you so much to everyone who donated the cost of a Memory Box and for helping to make a difference.

We often get people asking us how they too can donate a Memory Box, so we have decided to keep this campaign a permanent one.
Through our website you can make a difference at any time by donating the cost of a Memory Box. This can be done because you know what a difference a Memory Box makes; they can be donated on an anniversary/birthday, you can donate in someone’s memory, or because you have decided to give something up ie chocolate, that extre coffee, wine, smoking etc.
You decide, it really is a gift like no other and it will help our charity continue the vital work that we do.

The cost of a Memory Box is either £10, £35 or £40 or you can set up a regular monthly donation, every little bit helps.

To donate please follow this link, and thank you for helping to make a difference https://www.simbacharity.org.uk/get-involved/donate/ #donate #makingadifference #babyloss #miscarriage #stillbirth #neonataldeath

Total is all about Lola. Lola should be celebrating her 10th birthday today, but @lisanapril85 @commo15 and her beautiful family are celebrating it for her. Lola, stillborn in 2008, is who the Lola Commons fund for SiMBA is named after, a name that we are very proud of as Lola had made such a massive difference to our charity and to many families whom the fund has supported. Through Lola Commons fund we have provided over 30 Cuddle Cots so families can spend more precious time with their baby. We have provided photography equipment available for parents use so they can capture that precious time together. We have provided chair beds so partners can stay comfortably. And in 2017 we unveiled the first Lola Commons Family Room in the Queen Elizabeth Glasgow. The fund has since supported family room projects in Forth Valley and the Serenity Suite in Nottingham, where Lola was stillborn. This year we are working on five family room projects in Simpsoms, Royal Alexandra, Princess Royal, St John’s and the Borders. Also through her family and @lisanapril85 who talks so openly about Lola, we continue to make stillbirth and baby loss no longer a taboo subject. The little legend Lola and her family make us very proud indeed. #Lola #saytheirname 💗

On June the 12th 2018, #Team44 Sara Fitzsimmons, Danielle Valaitis and Jenni Morris from SiMBA will be setting of on our 1852 mile drive to Benidorm: WE NEED A NON RETURNABLE CAR, CAN ANYONE HELP??🙏💜 Day 1: 12th June 2018, 452 miles from Mayfield to Dover to join the Benidorm or BUST "The great escape" team.

Day 2, 13th June: Ferry to Calais then drive > Rouen > Tours, via Le Mans

Day 3, 14th June: Tours > Biarritz
Day 4, 15th June: Biarritz > over the border into Spain > Madrid
Day 5, 16th June 2018: Madrid > Benidorm

We will be starting our fundraising events over the next few weeks, as we are planning on raising as much funds and awareness as we possibly can for SiMBA in doing this challenge.
The car needs to be reliable, comfortable and non returnable (for two reasons). Firstly we will be ‘SiMBAfying’ our car, covering it with butterflies, names, stickers, sponsors logos etc. There’s a competition for the best dresses car. And secondly, we leave the car in Benidorm (as we will be flying back), this part is dealt with in a professional way.

So if you can give, donate, sponsor, know of someone who might help with a car for our challenge please give us a call at the SiMBA office on 01368860141 or email fundraising@simbacharity.org.uk
@lisanapril85 @niccijowood @garreth.wood @grantstottonair
Much love Sara, Danielle & Jenni #TeamSiMBA 💜

On June the 12th 2018, #Team44 Sara Fitzsimmons, Danielle Valaitis and Jenni Morris from SiMBA will be setting of on our 1852 mile drive to Benidorm:
Day 1: 12th June 2018, 452 miles from Mayfield to Dover to join the Benidorm or BUST "The great escape" team.

Day 2, 13th June: Ferry to Calais then drive > Rouen > Tours, via Le Mans

Day 3, 14th June: Tours > Biarritz
Day 4, 15th June: Biarritz > over the border into Spain > Madrid
Day 5, 16th June 2018: Madrid > Benidorm

We will be starting our fundraising events over the next few weeks, as we are planning on raising as much funds and awareness as we possibly can for SiMBA in doing this challenge.
The car needs to be reliable, comfortable and non returnable (for two reasons). Firstly we will be ‘SiMBAfying’ our car, covering it with butterflies, names, stickers, sponsors logos etc. There’s a competition for the best dresses car. And secondly, we leave the car in Benidorm (as we will be flying back), this part is dealt with in a professional way.

So if you can give, donate, sponsor, know of someone who might help with a car for our challenge please give us a call at the SiMBA office on 01368860141 or email fundraising@simbacharity.org.uk
You will be hearing a lot more from us over the coming weeks 🚘🏎🚙🚌🚐 Much love Sara, Danielle & Jenni #TeamSiMBA 💜

This week Sara had the pleasure of meeting Sara Smith and Alanna who are both nurses at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
The staff on the ward where they both work have done an incredible amount of fundraising in memory of Sara’s son Teddy Smith who was stillborn in May 2016.
Sara and Alanna firstly met Evelyn Rodger, Diana Children’s nurse Children's Hospices Across Scotland CHAS, and some of the team from the neonatal unit in Simpson’s at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh to present a Flexmort's Cuddle Cot. The Cuddle Cot will be used between the neonatal unit and be available for use in the mortuary and will also be available if parents want to take their baby home to spend some together.
We then went on to the labour ward to meet with Christina and Maria, both midwives, to present the very first mobile beverage unit to be used on the ward.
The unit will wheeled into a room when bereaved parents are in labour ward, it has a small fridge, cupboard with cups, plates, glasses a hot water jug, tea, coffee etc. This unit will give the parents the simple freedom to be able to make a tea/coffee as and when they want one abd store their food, this will, and already has made a difference to the parents going through the most difficult time.

Sara from SiMBA was delighted to have been able to support Sara and colleague & friend Alanna during the allocation of equipment purchased that the amazing team at the RHSC raised.

Making a big difference once again to support the parents who are spending time on the ward and the staff who support them at NHS Lothian.

Responding to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby. @lisanapril85 #lolacommonsfundforsimba #makingadifference #memories #stillbirth

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to message with your best wishes on the news of my MBE in the New Years Honours list for 2018. I have been truly humbled firstly by the nomination but more so by every single message that I have received since.
SiMBA has and will continue to be there for every single person who finds us by the amazing team we have, from our Patrons, Ambassadors, Trustees, staff, support group teams, volunteers and the most fantastic supporters.
As I always say we are not a sad charity, we deal with a sad subject, but what we do is take that subject, the death of a baby, and empower parents, their families and friends and the staff who support those parents to always have a a place when they can talk about, be listened to, and always have a safe place where you can and continue to honour your babies.
For one last time as we leave 2017 and head towards 2018 I would like you to do the honour of sharing your babies names with me in the comments below. They are the little people who are important, and you are all the people who continue to be the driving force and encouragement behind what I do.

Thank you
Sara Fitzsimmons

The Team at SiMBA would like to invite you to congratulate our Executive Director Sara Fitzsimmons following the announcement today that she is being awarded an MBE for services to bereaved families in the Queens New Year’s Honours.
Sara trained as a midwife in 1992, and qualified in 1995, going on to work in Simpson’s Centre for Reproductive Health at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Through her years as a midwife both her mentors, superiors, colleagues and especially the families she has supported hold her in high regard for her professionalism, empathy and devotion to her career and to the Mums and babies she has cared for.
It was in 2005 that Sara decided that there must be so much more that could be done for the families she supported through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.
Sara says, “Throughout my career I have always felt it such a privilege to look after and support bereaved families during their time in hospital, yet I always felt they deserved more time and more of an opportunity to gather memories of their baby. “I thought back to when my son Luke was born in 1998 - I have a Memory Box for him which has grown over the years, the contents a testimony to a lifetime of memories as he grew up. As I looked after bereaved families it came to me that they also deserved a Memory Box, a treasure chest that could hold the memories of their baby and that they too could add to over the years. It was so important to show them that their baby baby is important too.” And so, this was the humble beginnings of SiMBA Charity.
Sara continues, “I wanted to challenge and change the system for bereaved families and in 2005 I got some friends together and asked it they wanted to help me fundraise for Memory Boxes which we did. Initially we raised enough to buy 100 Boxes and so SiMBA was created.” All of us here at SiMBA are delighted for Sara and so glad that she has been given this recognition - such a deserving award for such a giving, inspirational woman.

The whole Team at SiMBA would like to wish you a gentle and blessed Christmas.
We invite you to share your baby’s name below as we come together to remember them.

On the 12th Day of Christmas we have been blessed with the story by Jessica Mulligan and how her daughter Evie is part of her every Christmas by naming today after her, Christmas Evie.
In July 2015 our first daughter Evie was stillborn at 36 weeks. We were very lucky to receive a memory box from SiMBA which introduced us to such an amazing charity. They were and continue to be such a huge support to us as a family and we are very grateful for everything they have done.
The main thing I am grateful for is that they showed me that it was ok to want to spend time with Evie, to miss her and to always talk about her. She is and always will be my daughter and SiMBA gave me the confidence to share her with others.
When Evie died, we both knew that we wanted to do something positive for her and for her to always be a part of our family. Thanks to SiMBA the memories that we have with her in the hospital are so precious and something that no one can ever take away from us. Although she will never get the chance to make her own memories we knew we wanted her to always be a part of ours and to make new memories for her. That is how we came up with the idea of "Christmas Evie". The thought of spending our first Christmas without her was so unbearable that we decided Christmas Eve would now be Christmas Evie and we would spend the day celebrating her. Each year we go to the Tree of Tranquility and leave her some flowers, we make Christmas Evie cookies, watch a film and light a special candle. I also made us a special Christmas Evie box which holds all these things, photos of Evie and a SiMBA teddy. We have been lucky enough to have a little sister for Evie so it is really special to be able to share Christmas Evie with her and to add in things for Emily to do for Evie. This year the box also has a Christmas colouring book so Emily can draw pictures for Evie and a Christmas book we will read at bedtime.

Nothing will ever fill the hole that Evie has left in our lives but we hope that by including her in and making these special memories she will always be with us and will know how much we love and miss her.

Day 11 of the 12 days of Christmas, the importance of a SiMBA Memory Box, give a gift like no other this Christmas.

Sharing stories is an amazing way to raise awareness for a subject; but when a parent shares their story, which is very emotional and hard to say and hear, it really brings home, in this circumstance the importance of Memory Boxes and the memory making opportunities that they can create.
Steven & Lauren, Kerry and Jessica, have proudly shared their stories in the video below to help to raise awareness of the importance of Memory Making and spending time together with your baby. We would like to thank the families for sharing their stories with us all.
In October SiMBA proudly launched our new Memory Boxes. We believe that if used correctly they will give every parent who receives one at the most devastating time of their lives, the best opportunity for memory making and spending the most precious time with their baby, with guidance from the health-care staff who are supporting them.

By donating a SiMBA Memory Box, you are actively helping to break taboos, enhance bereavement care and acknowledge every baby as an individual. This Christmas YOU can make a difference to one family by donating the cost of a Memory Box. £10 would allow us to gift a small memory box acknowledging a tiny baby under 14 weeks gestation £35 would allow us to gift a medium box to support families who lose a baby between 14-24 weeks gestation £40 would allow us to gift a large memory box to support families whose baby is lost over 24 weeks gestation “Leaving the hospital with nothing but a memory box was heartbreaking, but leaving without it would have been worse.” You're about to do something amazing


#giftasimbamemorybox https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sBg4SDHL6lo&feature=youtu.be

Over the last 9 days we have heard some amazing stories about how parents through SiMBA have found hope and strength after the death of their baby. We have heard how people have found hope and strength through volunteering for SiMBA, and we have heard how important it is, and will continue to be to talk about baby, not just a Christmas but every single day of the year. We have heard how important it is from a child to be involved, to give strength to them, and it’s ok with them to talk about their sibling.
On day 10 of Christmas we would like to hear from you, about how you found SiMBA or how SiMBA has helped you? Or we would just like you to share a memory that’s important to you, or just to say your baby’s name. @lisanapril85 #support #saytheirname #makingadifference #volunteering #babyloss 💜

On the seventh day of Christmas here is Andrea Gowling’s Story about the positive effects that volunteering can have.

Andrena first began volunteering for SiMBA by downloading knitting patterns from SiMBA’s website; then she approached the tenants in the sheltered housing complex where she works to see if they would like to become involved.
Jo and Kate were her first volunteers, Andrena made them a folder with all of SiMBA’s knitting patterns and information. Through crafting and knitting together Jo and Kate soon became great friends; they started to chat to each other and suggested visiting the SiMBA offices so that they could see what happens to all the products and to find out more information.
They had a wonderful day volunteering in the office and were so enthusiastic about knitting that they talked other tenants into joining them. Family members had been worried about one of the ladies in their knitting group as they felt that she was depressed but since becoming involved with SiMBA she has been a lot happier.
When SiMBA contacted the ladies to see if they could use the tickets that were gifted to SiMBA by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra they were delighted to accept. They had a lovely day and really enjoyed the concert. They had coffee in a little French bar/ restaurant before the event and talked about places they would like to go and things they would like to see. Andrea suggested that they make up a list together and then organise some dates, everyone thought that this was an excellent idea.

It just goes to prove that getting involved on a voluntary basis even just for a short time has many benefits, it can alleviate loneliness and depression and help to form a bond of friendship.

Our knitting group continues to go from strength to strength and we are looking forward to continuing to volunteer for SiMBA

If you would like to volunteer for SiMBA contact fundraising@simbacharity.org.uk for more information. We also have our SiMBA Craft group on facebook.

On the sixth Day of Christmas our story is told by Karen Lamont.
SiMBA helped me through the most difficult time in our lives. In early 2016, we suffered a miscarriage at around 6 weeks. We were extremely fortunate to fall pregnant again quite quickly, but sadly we miscarried again, this time not far off 12 weeks. We were devastated. I realised this time that I needed someone to talk to, to help me find a way through our losses, and this is when I came across SiMBA and the support groups that they run.
I was apprehensive about going along incase the group was only meant for families who had experienced the loss of a baby closer to the time of birth. I was assured that the group was there for anyone who had experienced a loss at any stage of pregnancy.
I went along to the Ayrshire support group and was met by the three lovely facilitators - Elaine, Karen and Fiona. Here, I was able to talk about my feelings and be reassured that what I was feeling was normal. It took away a little piece of that loneliness that you experience after loss. All too often miscarriage is brushed off as being “common” or “it wasn’t meant to be” but SiMBA acknowledges that the loss of a baby at any stage is heartbreaking.
Because of the support I received, I really wanted to give a little something back to the charity for helping me through such a difficult time. That’s when I decided to organise the Butterfly Ball. With the help of family, friends and many generous donators, the event was a huge success and over £12,000 was raised to help other families.
The Butterly Ball was held back in May this year. I was 24 weeks pregnant at the time of the Ball and at the beginning of September I gave birth to our perfect little rainbow girl, Paige. After giving us a scare when she was first born and spending 10 days in hospital, we are blessed to have our daughter at home with us and happy to say that she is thriving. I will be forever grateful to SiMBA and the Ayrshire support group facilitators. Thank-you!

Thank you so much to Karen for sharing her story and giving hope and helping to make a difference.

On the second day of Christmas Carol shares her story.
Hi my name is Carol I stay with my partner of 4 years Stuart and the 5 kids.

This is my story of our angel jamie and what happened and how SiMBA has helped us.

On the 24/8/2017 myself and my partner went for our 20 week scan. We were both very excited, but during the scan we both noticed there was no heartbeat, our little angel was gone and it broke both our hearts. I was in bits so was my partner. That afternoon we had to go up to the hospital and explained what would happen and said I could stay in hospital or go home, I went home.
They induced my labour, early Sunday morning my waters broke and at 8.30am our angel was born we got to have a quick look at him before they took him away.
Two hours later I was in theatre as the placenta wouldn't come away, but when I come out if theatre our angel was in the room beside us in his little hand knitted Moses basket and his wee blanket.
I asked the midwife were they had come from and that's when they told us all about SiMBA and what they do and how they support people in our position and I thought that's brilliant.

On Monday I finally got home and I said to my partner I want to learn to knit. I told him I want to knit blankets for SiMBA because they have helped us so much if it wasn't for the memory boxes with all the wee stuff in them and the knitted stuff we wouldn't have had any memory with our angel so I wanted to give something back and help other people that have or will go through what we have.

I have been knitting for about 2 months now and it feels great doing it, it relaxes me and to know that they blankets I have knitted are going to go into the memory boxes or on the Moses baskets makes me feel very proud to give something to SiMBA and other family's. If it hadn't been for SiMBA and the memory boxes myself and Stuart would have probably still been a mess.

The pictures are from Carol, this is the blankets that she has been knitting, It just shows you how little things donated can be a massive inspiration to those who receive them.
If you would like join our SiMBA craft group find us on Facebook

Over the next 12 days in the run up to Christmas we will be sharing a story each day which has been written by someone who has been supported or found SiMBA.
The stories have been written to give hope, and inspiration, and to try by sharing with you, to take some of the worry or sadness away from you in the run up to Christmas Day by listening to others stories.

Our first day of Christmas, Steven Clarke tells us how he found running as a way to focus and to raise funds to give something back to the charity who supported his family.

12 Days of Christmas, the first day.
Steven Clark
I think that SiMBA provide a really worthwhile and amazing support to families affected by the loss of a baby. Your guidance and support really does help and make a difference.
It does help the families come to terms with their loss and gives them invaluable support and brings some positivity to a very difficult and emotional time.
My wife and I learned about SiMBA as we unfortunately went through very difficult times when trying for a second baby, my wife had 2 miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy.
We were lucky enough to eventually have our second child, a boy called Max who is now 6 years old and that completed our family as we have a daughter, Ellie who is 15.

When I decided to start doing proper running!! (I used to do the odd we jog but not very much!!) I wanted to make it worthwhile and give something back and I thought of SIMBA – it is an amazing charity and truly deserves support and fundraising proceeds.
I signed up for my first marathon (Edinburgh marathon) in 2012 and raised sponsorship funds for SIMBA. I raised over £1000 in total and I caught the running a marathon bug!!! Since then I have ran another 4 Edinburgh marathons, raising funds each time for SIMBA. Through monies donated by family, friends, work colleagues and funds from my Employer, I have raised over £4000 for SIMBA for the 5 marathons that I have ran.
I will continue to raise funds for any future marathons that I do.

The SIMBA team do a brilliant job and should be very proud of your work.

I enclose a photo of me and my family after I had completed this year’s marathon.

Every November Audart - art by Audrey Dunn creates a 30 day art challenge for SiMBA, you choose the theme, make a donation then Audrey produces the artwork. This years pictures have been brightening up our days.
There is 4 days to go, can you make challenge for one of them? https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=CraigandAudreyDunn&isTeam=true

On the 1st October this year SiMBA launched our new Memory Boxes. We redesigned our Memory Boxes due to several reasons, one being a survey we did to parents and hospital staff, on the result of this survey we realised that changes needed to be made.
We had a working group who worked on every part of the design process, from start to finish this took 10 months. We have now also introduced a third size of Memory Box.

In November Steven & Lauren, Kerry and Jessica all bravely took part in recording their stories. Their stories are emotional, but empowering to watch, they all took part to raise awareness and make others aware of the importance of using a Memory Box for the purpose they were introduced, memory making.

On Monday we launched our ‘Donate a Memory Box for Christmas’ campaign, so we can continue to roll out the new Memory Boxes, and continue to carry out the good work that we do in supporting parents who lose a baby at any stage of pregnancy or close to the time of birth.


YOU’RE ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING AMAZING £10 would allow us to gift a small Memory Box £35 would allow us to gift a medium Memory Box £40 would allow us to gift a large Memory Box

To find out how you can donate a Memory Box: https://www.simbacharity.org.uk/get-involved/donate/
To catch Steven & Lauren, Kerry and Jessicas video https://youtu.be/sBg4SDHL6lo

You can own the original Oor Wullie artwork from FM @NicolaSturgeon 's 2016 Christmas card! @ARCHIEtayside, @SiMBA_team, The Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund & The Dixon Community Fund will all receive proceeds of the sale.
Bid using this link before 3rd December: socsi.in/kfY7O (Taken from Nicola Sturgeons twitter page). Let’s see if we can get this bid increased 💷🙏four great beneficiaries including @simba_team @lisanapril85 @commo15 @niccijowood @garreth.wood @citril1

🖼 Jings! Crivens! You could own the original Oor Wullie artwork for @NicolaSturgeon's 2016 Christmas card. All proceeds go to @ARCHIEtayside, @SiMBA_team, the Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund & The Dixon Community Fund.

Bid here: bit.ly/2hLLTO3 (Taken from Nicola Sturgeons Facebook page)

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