Hundreds of bereaved parents unite at Falkirk baby loss awareness service

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Hundreds of bereaved mums and dads united together during a poignant ceremony to remember their little ones.

The baby loss awareness service at The Kelpies on Tuesday night coincided with a global Wave of Light movement.

Touching tributes were paid by several families who travelled to the Falkirk tourist attraction to join others around the world in lighting candles and singing songs in memory of babies who died too soon.

The event was organised by Forth Valley Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths (Sands) and Denny woman Kellie Cunningham, who lost her son Henry to group B strep in 2017.

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The 34-year-old found comfort in the support Sands gave her in her time of need and has since raised a remarkable £55,000 on its behalf through two community fun runs. Monthly meet-ups at Forth Valley Spiritual Centre, along with information packs containing memory boxes and hand and footprint kits, have helped Kellie come to terms with Henry’s death.

Kellie was only too happy to oblige when asked to help organise the service at The Kelpies and arranged for a choir, readings, poems and a bagpiper to feature as a way of showing her gratitude to Sands’ volunteers.

She said: “It went really well, there were a lot more people there than we expected there to be — my dad reckoned there were about 800.

“It was pretty overwhelming and emotional just seeing all the candles and everyone had put a message on a ribbon for their children. I think we’re going to keep it going.

“All my friends and family were there and in the choir. There was myself, my two nieces and my sister in the choir and the rest was made up of friends and Sands volunteers.

“We finished making up the choir last week. It was made up of people who had lost a child so that meant a lot more to people as well.

“My friend Stacey Shanley’s girl, Olivia, passed away last year and her dad played the pipes.”

The Kelpies were turned pink and blue in honour of the occasion and provided the perfect backdrop as members of the choir performed A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, The Climb by Miley Cyrus and Bill Withers’ Lean On Me.

Kellie added: “Thank you to all my friends and family for helping out and to Julie’s Dancetek which provided a lot of people for the choir.”