A LONG-AWAITED room to support families who have lost a baby has been opened at Borders General Hospital.

The bereavement suite project suffered a lengthy delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But last week the “Eildon Room” – brought about by a group of dedicated local fundraisers through the charity SiMBA – was unveiled at an opening ceremony.

Representatives from SiMBA helped to officially open the room alongside NHS Borders’ chief executive, Ralph Roberts, and Sarah Horan, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at the health board.

Kirsteen Guthrie, associate director of midwifery at NHS Borders, said: “I am grateful to all the fundraisers, SiMBA, our estates department and Grosvenor Interiors for making this happen. It has been long awaited and our families within the Borders will benefit from the newly refurbished room.”

Vanessa Rhazali, head of communications and fundraising at SiMBA, added: “It is all thanks to the tireless support of a group of committed local fundraisers. It has been a long wait, but we could not have made this project possible without their support and for that we are incredibly grateful.

“We hope the Eildon Room will be an invaluable and much-needed resource within the Scottish Borders for those who need it most.”

An NHS Borders spokesperson said the team at the hospital was “delighted with the room and are immensely proud of what has been achieved and how it will support families at a difficult time”.

SiMBA’s purpose is “honouring baby loss”.

Founded in 2005, the charity supports families whose baby has died at any stage of pregnancy or around the time of birth, through gifting memory boxes, refurbishing family rooms within hospitals, remembrance activities and events.

The charity also has a Tree of Tranquillity installed in the gardens of Old Gala House in Galashiels, where bereaved parents can visit to remember their baby.

The tree is made of steel and every leaf attached is engraved in memory of a baby.

SiMBA has also gifted the BGH with more than 400 unique and hand-finished memory boxes in the last five years.

The charity works with a team of specialist volunteers who carefully fill each box with knitted teddies and blankets, along with items parents can use to make memories with their little one before they prepare to say goodbye.