The Stars Appeal Benson Suite provides a dedicated, private space for local families who sadly experience the death of their baby at Salisbury District Hospital. The Suite helps ensure the very short time these families are able to spend together is as precious, dignified and personal as possible. The Suite is also made available to families who have experienced the birth of a critically ill child or for partners and babies when a mother is very unwell.
The initial funding of the Benson Suite was made possible thanks to a significant donation from Sir Christopher and Lady Benson and the Suite has been named in recognition of their support. Today we continue to raise funds to enhance the Benson Suite further and to provide support to the families that sadly need to use it, including a dedicated Stars Appeal Bereavement Midwife.
How the Stars Appeal makes a difference:
- Ensuring the Benson Suite is available for families in need
- Funding a dedicated Stars Appeal Bereavement Midwife to support bereaved families before, during and after their time on the Benson Suite and to offer further support during subsequent pregnancies
- Maintaining and further enhancing the Benson Suite environment with furnishings, décor and artwork
- Maintaining the Benson Suite garden
- Dedicated equipment
- Visits from hospital Chaplains
- Memory boxes, photographs and other keepsakes
- Free Wi-Fi
- Specialist training and education for staff
- Supporting staff wellbeing and morale
“The use of the Benson Suite meant the world to us as we were able to celebrate and grieve the birth and loss of our baby away from the labour ward where new parents were having the best day of their life as we battled through our worst.
The privacy and dignity that the Benson Suite offers is second to none. For a place where so many hearts have broken, we walked out of there feeling supported, loved and that our baby had been born and died surrounded by so many people who cared which is all you could ever want.
I am so grateful to have been given the time we needed to prepare ourselves to say goodbye.”
Tamar Vellacott & Cameron Pratt
A letter from a family…
“The Benson Suite gave us the chance to be the little family we were planning to be”
“Sadly, we had call to use your Benson Suite recently, after our beautiful baby daughter was born sleeping. I can’t say anything will ever ease this pain, but I wanted to let you know that the Suite has given us time and memories we would never have had the opportunity to cherish without it.
The Benson Suite gave us the chance to be the little family we were planning to be. We could hold our daughter, rock her and kiss her and do everything you do as a parent with a newborn. There were even times when we don’t remember pain or upset, just overwhelming parental love, a love like no other as we stared at her beautiful face thinking how perfect she was. There just couldn’t be moments like those on a normal labour ward because you wouldn’t have the peace or space. But the Benson Suite gave us all of that, so we could have those memories.
Never in our life did we think we would have to bring our beautiful, perfect princess home in a box, and nothing will make the pain of losing our baby go away, but the Benson Suite did give us time with our daughter, time to be the parents we planned to be, time which we will remember forever and always be grateful for.”