Maple Suite officially opened after refurbishment

A group of people stand under a willow tree

The Maple Suite at Southmead Hospital has been officially opened following a refurbishment to make the space more comforting for families.

The suite is for families going through the loss of a baby and was set-up so that families can spend precious time with their baby and create cherished memories together. It is set away from the main maternity ward.

Families who have used the suite were among those who attended the official opening along with those who raised funds to support the refurbishment, which included the addition of kitchenette and small garden space.

Lucy Morgan, who used the Maple Suite when her daughter Betsy was born in 2014, said: “Thank you for listening and for making the refurbishment happen.

“You have such a short space of time to spend time with your baby and to make your experience feel valid, having the outside space to feel the breeze or the sun and make memories will make such a difference.”

Rachel Dickinson’s daughter Florence lived for just 14 days after her birth in 2020.

She said: “After our baby Florence passed away, we felt we needed to find a purpose and so we put all our efforts into fundraising.

“I’m so grateful to be able to use the donations made in remembrance and money raised to benefit other families and give them a safe space to spend precious moments with their babies.”

The Maple Suite refurbishment was supported by donations to Southmead Hospital Charity, including funds raised by The Float Group through their annual Christmas fundraiser.

Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Juliette Hughes, is among the volunteers involved in the festive float, which heads out around north Bristol in the lead-up to Christmas.

She said: “Supporting Southmead Hospital is the reason why members of The Float Group head out dressed up in the festive period.

“Being able to contribute to this important facility to ensure that families can spend time with their babies and make memories means so much to all of us.”