A mum who raised nearly £3,000 for Dorset County Hospital’s maternity unit has officially opened a low-risk birth room named in her honour.
Clare Stokes collected the money to furnish the new room through a series of fundraising events including a charity football match at Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium and a street fair in Antelope Walk.
The new room, which has been named the Stokes Suite in recognition of Clare’s support, is designed to offer a relaxed ‘home from home’ setting for women who are having low-risk births.
The aim is to provide a less clinical environment for women who would like the feel of a home birth with the reassurance of being in a hospital. The room includes a new birthing couch from the National Childbirth Trust, a birthing mat and stool, and a comfortable bean bag for the mum’s partner to use.
Clare said she was thrilled to see the room opened for use: “All my children have been born here and sadly we lost two babies during pregnancy. The maternity staff have been so incredibly supportive – we just wanted to give something back. It’s wonderful to see the room finished and ready to be used.”
Midwife Jane Hall said: “We are so grateful to Clare and her family for raising the money for the room. It’s something we’ve wanted to provide for a long time and it will be of great benefit to so many women. We eventually hope to be able to set up another room like this.”
Maternity staff would also like to thank the Friends of Dorset County Hospital for providing the curtains for the room, colleague and photographer Helen Burgess for donating some prints and local artist Sue Peake for donating a painting.
Clare Stokes, her husband Richard and youngest son Otis officially open the new low-risk birth room with maternity staff and hospital Chief Executive Jean O’Callaghan.