SiMBA is a charity that supports those who have suffered the loss of a baby at any point during pregnancy and just after birth. Founded in 2005 by members who recognised that there was a need to help those who have been affected by child loss. In 2007 it SiMBA was officially registered as a Scottish charity. Since 2007 SiMBA has helped women and their families all over the UK deal with the loss of a child. SiMBA also works with other charities and has partnered up with individuals to help fundraising. This includes the Lola Commons Fund which was set up by a SiMBA ambassador whose main focus is to work with hospitals in creating family rooms. The Haydon Kennan Foundation who work in partnership with SiMBA to provide clay hand and foot imprint kits. SiMBA helps individuals, their families and organisations in four ways:
SiMBA provide hospitals, pregnancy support groups, neonatal units and individuals memory boxes that are used to help parents gather memories of their time spent with their baby. They have three types of boxes: a small box that is used for a loss of less than 14 weeks gestation a medium box that is used for a loss between 14 and 24 weeks gestation a large box that is used for a loss over 24 weeks gestation By giving parents a memory box SiMBA states that to parents you are "treating their baby as an individual" which helps "break the fear and taboo that can be associated with miscarriage, still birth and neonatal death." Included in the boxes are teddies, blankets, candles, butterflies, letters, keepsake boxes and in the medium and large boxes imprint kits. You all parents to help "create the most precious memories which will be remembered each time the box is opened, and treasured for a lifetime."
Trees of tranquillity are large tree sculptures made from copper. The leaves of the tree are engraved by bereaved parents to help honour and remember their baby. The idea stated is that as more leaves are added the "tree will grow." There are currently 6 trees of tranquillity, the majority of which can be found in Scotland, however with more fundraising hopefully the trees may be able to be found all over the country in the future. For more information on adding a leaf to any of the trees of tranquillity you can visit this website
It is SiMBAs aim to help provide family rooms within maternity units to give parents the opportunity to spend time and say goodbye to their child. These rooms are private and quiet rooms that provide parents with a special place away from the busy labour ward environment. The Lola Commons Fund for SiMBA fundraisers are used to cover the cost of family room refurbishments. SiMBA work closely with the hospitals and encourage staff on the maternity wards to get involved to help provide what they feel is needed for their family room.
SiMBA also work with the Children’s Hospital Association Scotland to help provide and fund training for all health care professionals (HCP) and students, the training provides is free for all attendees. This training helps improve on perinatal, end of life and bereavement care which will help the HCP and students when supporting families who are dealing with the loss of a child.
I am Hannah Berry and I am producer and presenter for Rasdio, I have been lucky enough for the past 4 years I have had the opportunity to have a say in the charities that have been chosen. I have always chosen a charity that means something too me (as does every other member of the team). Previously I have chosen Sarcoma UK, CLIC Sargent, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Help for Heroes. This year I have chosen SiMBA.
When I was 16 during my time at college I was diagnosed with PCOS and was told I was highly unlikely to have children. For those who do not know PCOS stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome. According to research 1 in 10 women suffer with PCOS, with a range of symptoms PCOS varies from woman to woman. Symptoms of PCOS include irregular or no periods, infertility, excessive hair growth, hair loss, obesity, weight gain, oily skin, acne, fatigue, sleep problems, pelvic pain and mood changes. Having experienced the large majority of these symptoms myself I found myself looking for a support group. I found myself an online support group on facebook and they have helped me a lot. During my time I noticed that a lot of women mentioned miscarriage after trying for a very long time to get pregnant, some had even mentioned multiple miscarriages which I found very heartbreaking.
After doing some research women with PCOS are 30% - 50% are more likely to go through an early pregnancy loss (EPL), compared to women who do no have PCOS who are only 10% - 15% likely to go though an early pregnancy miscarriage. It has been suggested that the real figures for the percentage of women likely to go though an EPL is hard to obtain however, some women who have PCOS require medication that help them ovulate which have also been linked to having a high EPL percentage. It was also noted that of those women who have recurrent miscarriages 40% - 80% have PCOS.
Seeing women suffer though this pain time and time again. Having friends who have had to feel this pain, knowing that they had very little if any support from their local hospital for pregnancy loss made me want to find and help a charity who not only supports women but also supports their family, they also support hospitals (including maternity and neonatal wards) and hospices themselves, they also provide training to health care professions. I found this charity when looking through JustGiving and felt that SiMBA is exactly who I wanted to support this year, I am hoping that with your support we will be able to raise a lot of money to help this amazing cause.