Carley helps highlight support available to devastated parents

Carley Malin. INNT41-509CON
Carley Malin. INNT41-509CON
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A NEWTOWNABBEY woman who lost her baby son to meningitis in 2008 is urging local people to come along to Belfast Castle on Sunday, October 16 to help mark Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Every day in Northern Ireland 24 families are left devastated by the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and other causes. And according to local charity Life After Loss, baby loss still remains a taboo subject and people often suffer alone, left to find support themselves.

In a bid to highlight the help that’s now available for grieving parents, Carley Malin - a member of Life After Loss - is urging people to come along to the charity’s annual balloon release at Belfast Castle on Sunday at 3pm.

People are expected to travel from all over Northern Ireland to attend the cross-community event to remember their precious babies.

Encouraging people to go along to the Castle grounds on Sunday, Carley said: “I lost my baby son Zach when he was just over six months old in March 2008. He is still very much missed in our family and I have striven since then to reach out to others as I know the heartbreak and devastation caused when you are left with empty arms.”

Founded in 2006 as an online support forum, Life After Loss was granted charitable status in 2007. The charity recently opened its first office in Carrickfergus from where it will be running support group meetings and coffee mornings.

“We believe that by offering support and friendship to each other, parents whose lives have been devastated by the loss of a baby can begin to heal and to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. Life may never be the same, but slowly it can be rebuilt and eventually you can learn to smile again,” said Helen Savage, the charity’s founder and Chair.

Support group sessions will take on the last Thursday of each month, and there will also be drop-in coffee mornings held every other Thursday starting from October 20.

For more information about Life After Loss or Sunday’s balloon release contact Eleanor Ellerslie on Tel: 028 9336 0989, 07582 950101 or email:eleanor@lifeafterloss.org.uk