Published on: 3 February 2022

A charity which helps families through baby loss has helped to transform hospital rooms so families can have peace and privacy.

The two quiet rooms have been set up in South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital by 4Louis as it continues to support hospitals, parents and their loved ones.

Each room has been decorated and furnished to provide a quiet space away from clinical areas for families to take some time following a stillbirth, miscarriage or baby loss.

Expectant mums and families will also be able to use them as a place of calm while visiting the hospitals.

The Sunderland-based charity was set up by Kirsty Knight and her family and friends in 2009 following the loss of her son Louis. 4Louis has worked with the Trust for many years and provided vital funds to help staff support families with memory boxes, cuddle cots, photography kits and training materials. 

The charity also invested £75,000 in setting up a bereavement suite in the maternity unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital, named the Louis suite.

Most of the charity’s funds are generated through the generosity of families as they give back for the help they have received.

The rooms were designed by Tracey McGurrell, Louis’ grandmother, who worked with Antenatal Assessment Manager Amanda Bargh on the plans.

4Louis Kayden, Amanda Bargh and Andy Lamb.jpeg

Kayden, Antenatal Assessment Manager Amanda Bargh and Andy Lamb of Together for Children.

Murals were then added to by Andy Lamb, a parent who has experienced baby loss, and Kayden, a young person from Sunderland.

The two met through Andy’s employer, Together for Children, which delivers children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council and works with young people across the city.

Amanda said: “While we can never lessen the upset losing a baby brings, having a fitting, dignified and comfortable place to talk to families will make all the difference.

“We are so grateful to 4Louis for their support in setting up these spaces. This is a great example of the partnership developed between us to support families.”

4louis (4) Kayden, Bob McGurrell and Andy Lamb.jpeg

4Louis chief operating officer Bob McGurrell with Andy Lamb, of Together for Children.

Bob McGurrell, the charity’s chief operating officer and Louis’ grandfather, said the team felt people needed a dedicated place to spend time following their loss.

He said: “These are quiet rooms and they’re subtle and not clinical, offering somewhere private where they can take time to absorb what they’ve been told, rather than still being part of the baby unit.

“I think they will make a huge difference.

“They have been warmly welcomed so far and we hope they will be a will be a valuable asset to the units and families for years to come.”