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Parents meet up again in The Walks for bereavement support group




The first Tuesday of every month sees a bereaved parent group get together in Lynn to share their experiences and to support one another.

Whispers from Wings was set up by Verity Gamble and Sarah Chapman - who have both lost babies- in order to address the lack of bereavement groups in West Norfolk.

In normal circumstances, the group meets at the Knights Hill Hotel library, but due to the coronavirus they have had to conduct Zoom meetings instead.

Pictured are Whispers from Wings founders Sarah Chapman and Verity Gamble
Pictured are Whispers from Wings founders Sarah Chapman and Verity Gamble

And Tuesday was the first time the support group members were able to meet in person again post-lockdown as they gathered in The Walks with social distancing in place.

The group has been supporting Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital fundraising plans for a new Maternity Bereavement Suite, which was voted the Lynn News Charity of the Year.

Mrs Gamble was 40 weeks into her pregnancy when she received the devastating news that her baby, Summer Ashley, had passed away at the QEH.

Whispers from Wings met in The Walks on Tuesday evening Pictured from left to right are Alex Bush, Emma Bland, Verity Gamble, Stephanie Gibbs, Sarah Chapman and Christine Fletcher
Whispers from Wings met in The Walks on Tuesday evening Pictured from left to right are Alex Bush, Emma Bland, Verity Gamble, Stephanie Gibbs, Sarah Chapman and Christine Fletcher

Regarding the bereavement suite plans, she said: “It is something that we have all fought for a long time for. The hospital has always needed it. There was one several years ago but at the moment it is not ideal if you are hearing people birthing in the next room.”

Whispers from Wings work on projects to raise awareness about baby loss, which has included the QEH’s fundraising plans for a new suite.

It has been described as a safe space for grieving parents to talk knowing it will not be going any further than the confines of the supportive network.

Mrs Gamble added: "All families have their own options and I think it is really important for people to come along as we have all been there. Do not feel bad for what you say."

The group ranges from 8 to 12 members, and is usually made up of women only.

Mrs Chapman explained: “Some couples may feel at ease coming together so it is a shared experience between a husband and wife.

“Women grieve very differently though, not because they are more open but they need that community and dialogue whereas men will talk about it, but they might want to go to the pub or the golf course to talk in a more casual setting. Our group is dominated by women because they crave that dialogue.

"A lot of people share the pain and it's just tapping into someone that they are not alone. It can be so intense and can really get you down if you think about your loss. We talk about a variety of things. If someone is having a particularly rough the others do chip in with words of advice."

Regarding the hospital’s bereavement suite, she added: “We are very much behind it and we are all passionate about it. The longer it is delayed, the longer it is not supporting parents so it is really important to have that safe, soundproof space.”

Whispers from Wings founders Mrs Chapman and Mrs Gamble met through their shared experience of losing a baby.

“You may feel like you are all doom and gloom but people need to talk about and they need the support,” Mrs Gamble said.

To find out more about the group, search Whispers from Wings on Facebook.

The QEH fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/campaign/QEHMaternityBereavementSuite.

Charity of the Year 2020
Charity of the Year 2020


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