Saying Goodbye To Lost Babies

The first of a national set of services to help parents who've lost babies is being held in Exeter Cathedral.

The September 15th service is the beginning for a bereavement support organisation called Saying Goodbye set up by Devon parents  Andy and Zoe Clark-Coats, who have lost five babies.

They've now been blessed with two daughters, aged three and one. But it was the loss of their five babies that spurred them on to set up the Saying Goodbye organisation.

 "There are some really lovely remembrance services often arranged in hospital chapels or small churches, but not everyone loses a baby in hospital and what's missing is a national network, so that's what we're doing," Mrs Clark-Coates said. 

The Clark-Coates hope it will be a focal point of support which midwives, doctors, hospitals and others can recommend. It already has three charities -The Miscarriage Association, Bliss and Tommy's - to partner it so people can access the support they need.

 Mrs Clark-Coats contacted Professor Lord Robert Winston who agreed to become Saying Goodbye's ambassador. The organisation also has the support of the Association of Early Pregnancy Units and celebrities like Nigella Lawson, Jools Oliver and Gabby Logan. 

Saying Goodbye's only been running for about 12 weeks and already has 10,000 twitter followers.

Twitter messages included one from Jamie Oliver, keyboardist with Welsh rock band Lostprophets, whose partner is expecting a baby and who wanted to pledge his support.

Zoe's been talking to our reporter Wendy Buckingham CLICK HERE

 The services will include secular music, poetry readings and messages of hope and will be open to people "of all faiths and no faith".

Although no formal counselling will be on offer, people will have an opportunity to speak to representatives from Saying Goodbye or the partner charities after the hour-long services.

 Services have also been planned at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, York Minster, Birmingham Cathedral, Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Bristol Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral in London. At least 20 services will take place across the UK next year and they are also planning international services.