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Bereaved mum welcomes cot death cash boost

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Interactive workshop that will go ahead thanks to £77,130 award from the Big Lottery Fund

A mother who lost her son in the most tragic of circumstances has welcomed a National Lottery cash boost for the Scottish Cot Death Trust.

Nicole Bowles whose four month son Ben died suddenly when she was on a family shopping trip, is one of a number of parents who will share their stories as part of a series of interactive workshop that will go ahead, thanks to £77,130 award from the Big Lottery Fund.

Their thoughts and feelings will then form the basis of a new play that will be premiered at the International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival in Glasgow in June next year, before touring round Scotland.

Nicole said: “When it comes to child loss unless you have been through it you can’t understand it and it’s so difficult to find other people who have been through a similar experience.

“When your child dies you feel guilty, you feel you have failed in your role as a parent to protect your child. People not talking to you can often lead to more negative thoughts and increase the sense of isolation you feel.

“Taking part in these interactive workshops will be a lifeline for parents. This is a way to raise awareness, unite people and bring communities together.”

Welcoming the award, Lynsay Allan, executive director, Scottish Cot Death Trust, said: “The trust wanted to give parents an opportunity to reach out to the community and tell their story.

“We aim to have a play that people from all backgrounds can relate to. For some it will educate them about what it means to be a bereaved parent.

“Importantly the story will reach out to any parent whose child has died, whatever the cause. Child death is something we all find distressing as it goes against the natural order of life.

“The power of this project is that we don’t know at this stage what the story of the play will be. The families taking part are the real story tellers and creators. They own this process.”

Maureen McGinn, chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery funding, this innovative project will bring together families who may experience isolation because of the circumstances of their bereavement.

“The workshops will give them an opportunity to express their grief and make connections with others who have been through a similar journey. Their contributions to the play, due to tour around the country next year, will inform and support other parents struggling to connect with family and friends.”