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Release a butterfly in memory of a baby

By David G Scott

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A POIGNANT charity event will take place in Wick next month that will see countless colourful butterflies released into the wild.

The annual butterfly release at the Norseman Hotel is organised by the Simpson's Memorial Box Appeal (Simba) and helps support anyone who has been affected by the loss of a baby during pregnancy or close to the time of birth.

A little girl releases her Simba butterfly at last year's poignant event in Wick. Picture: DGS
A little girl releases her Simba butterfly at last year's poignant event in Wick. Picture: DGS

Sara Fitzsimmons, executive charity director and co-founder Simba, said: “When a baby dies there can be a huge feeling of isolation. Our butterfly releases encourage families to come together in a gentle event, knowing that they are surrounded by others who understand their grief.

"Simba is here to offer ongoing support to our families, and I would encourage anyone affected by the loss of a baby to join our butterfly release.”

When a baby dies, whether it's because of miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death, a family may have very few memories to sustain and comfort them through a lifetime of missing their little one. Simba supports families to gather precious memories of the short time their baby was alive, aiding health professionals to come alongside families in their hardest times, and offering ongoing support in the weeks, months and years following their baby's death.

The Simba Annual Butterfly Release brings families together in mutual support and understanding as each family releases a live butterfly. As the butterflies take to the air they carry with them the loving thoughts of the family member who has released it.

There will be a short service with music and poems before the butterflies are released, followed by time for reflection and refreshments and the opportunity to chat with Simba representatives and other families. The event will be hosted by volunteer support group facilitators in Caithness – Tracey Ann McGeachin and Christine McIlroy.

A donation of £15 will cover the cost of one butterfly, venue hire, entertainment and refreshments for a whole party.

Butterfly orders will close on Tuesday, July 30, and butterflies will not be available to purchase on the day – August 4.

For full event details and details of how to purchase your butterfly, visit www.simbacharity.org.uk

A support group also runs on the last Thursday of every month in the Norseman Hotel from 7-9pm.

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