When a baby dies, whether it's because of miscarriage, stillbirth, or neo-natal death, a family has very few memories to sustain and comfort them.

The charity SiMBA gently supports families to gather precious memories of the short time their baby was here.

The SiMBA Annual Butterfly Releases form a key part of their support.

]These events bring families together in mutual support and understanding as each family releases a live butterfly.

A third annual butterfly release is from Lews Castle on Saturday August 3rd with guests asked to arrive for 11am as the event will begin at 11.30am. 

There will be a short service with beautiful 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 SiMBA volunteer support group facilitator Joanne Murray-Stewart and their Highland Ambassador Susan Simpson. 

A suggested donation of £15 covers the cost of one butterfly, venue hire, entertainment and refreshments for the whole party. 

Sara Fitzsimmons, MBE, RM, CEO of SiMBA, added “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 on-going support to our families, and I would encourage anyone affected by the loss of a baby to join our butterfly release.”

Full event details and details of how to purchase your butterfly are available on our website : www.simbacharity.org.uk.

Butterfly orders must be made before July 30th.  They are not available to buy on the day.

SiMBA's butterfly supplier Tim, is an award winning educator in his field who breeds butterflies in a disease-free environment who can cope with the conditions throughout the UK.

These butterflies go on to replenish the dwindling numbers of butterflies in the wild.

SiMBA's Stornoway support Group runs on the first Tuesday of every month in the Caladh Inn from 7pm-9pm. It is open to parents, grandparents, family, friends or anyone who has been affected by the loss of a baby.

On Friday August 2nd, SiMBA will have an awareness stall in Tesco, Stornoway where they will be raffling a hamper donated by Delights worth over £100!

Raffle tickets will be on sale from Monday 29th July to Thursday 1st August in Delights or at the SiMBA stand in Tesco Stornoway on August 2nd.

SiMBA donates Memory Boxes, each one made up by a volunteer, to help families to gather everlasting memories of their most precious time spent together with their baby. They also refurbish Family Rooms within hospitals, giving families a peaceful homely place to spend time with their baby. They are currently working on family room refurbishments in the following maternity units, Simpsons within the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, St John’s, Livingston, The Borders General, The Princess Royal, Glasgow and Raigmore in Inverness.

They install Memorial Trees of Tranquillity. These memorial trees provide comfort for both the newly bereaved and for those who may have lost their baby many years ago some who never saw or held them or knew where their baby’s final resting place was. Adding a leaf onto our Tree of Tranquillity shows families that they are not alone in their loss while visiting a tree provides a place to reflect. 

They offer free advanced bereavement and palliative care study days (in conjunction with CHAS) for health care professionals and students. To date they have trained more than 335 attendees including 20 health care professionals in Stornoway last year.