Angel mums: Morrisons Worthing sets up memory tree for Baby Loss Awareness Week

Baby Loss Awareness Week is being marked at Morrisons in Worthing with a memory tree in store and candles for customers to take home to light in memory of a baby born too soon.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 4:44 pm

Jo Easey, the store’s community champion, is keen to raise awareness of what she sees as a taboo subject, something she feels both men and women need to talk about more.

“It is all about breaking the silence,” she said.

“So many things are taboo but baby loss shouldn’t be. I think it is a bit like cancer used to be and mental health, it just doesn’t get spoken about and because people don’t talk about it, it gets forgotten, especially miscarriage.”

Joanne Easey, Morrisons Worthing community champion, is marking Baby Loss Awareness Week in memory of her daughter and raising money for Sands in store

Aged 46, she is the mother of five children but her first child, a daughter, died at 15 weeks due to SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.

Jo said: “I had had miscarriages before but it wasn’t the same, I got to meet her, I got to know her.”

Holly-Ann was born on October 16, 1997, and died on January 29, 1998. Jo was 23 and she said it was almost brushed away, people telling her she was young, so could easily have more children.

Jo pointed out: “Another child doesn’t replace them, but it helps.”

Jo and her husband Gavin, who also works at Morrisons in Worthing, have Micah, 23, Amber, 20, Courtni-Rose, 15, Charlie, 13 and Nathan, 12. Holly-Ann is still very much part of the family, too, and on her birthday on Saturday, they will all visit her grave in Durrington Cemetery with a cake.

Joanne would like to see an area at the cemetery set aside for parents who have lost a baby through miscarriage, as she says they have no grave to visit.

“People who miscarry sometimes don’t even have scan photos,” she explained.

“It’s important for men, too. Women get all the medical treatment but the dads get nothing.

“They get forgotten, so I want to raise awareness, and I’ve put out a memory tree with candles to light in memory of babies gone too soon.”

From today until Sunday, customers can visit the Baby Loss Awareness Week table, near the cafe. The store is raising money for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, which Jo chose as it provides support to anyone affected by the death of a baby.