Balloon release to remember our little angels

Members of Our Angels prepare for the balloon release this Sunday.
Members of Our Angels prepare for the balloon release this Sunday.

Dozens of balloons are set to be released into the sky above Harrogate by families who have lost a baby.

Charity Our Angels is holding the fundraising event at the Cairn Hotel from 1pm on Sunday.

The pink, blue and cream balloons will each represent a little life that has been tragically cut short. Families can write a name and a message on a tag attached to the balloon, before releasing it.

Chairman of Our Angels Emma Lofthouse said: “It’s a really beautiful moment watching all the balloons going up and it’s also very emotional. It’s our fourth balloon release and it’s really special.”

This year the money raised at the event, which will also include a raffle and a tombola, will go towards setting up a child bereavement counselling service for couples.

It is the latest in a series of fundraising initiatives for Our Angels, which was awarded charity status this year.

The group was set up by Mrs Lofthouse, from Bilton, after she lost her little boy Charlie in April 2008.

She said: “He was stillborn and at the time there was no support in Harrogate whatsoever. We were dealt with at the hospital and the midwives were great, but unfortunately the experience wasn’t fantastic and I had in my head that I wanted to change it.

“At the memorial service for babies, which is held at Harrogate Hospital every year, I got chatting to a few other women there and decided to set up what was originally going to be a support group, but it really took off.”

The charity started with five members and the group now averages around 25, who meet at the Cairn Hotel every month.

Mrs Lofthouse said: “Members all keep in touch and it’s really lovely to see lives move forward.”

Over the last seven years Our Angels has raised money for the refurbishment of the hospital’s Ferndale Suite and has funded an intense bereavement training programme for 60 midwives.

Members have also raised money to provide the hospital with memory boxes and a cuddle cot, which is used to keep stillborn and miscarried babies cool and allow bereaved families to spend more time with their baby.

To donate a raffle or tombola prize for the balloon release email fundraising@ourangelscharity.co.uk