DOZENS turned out to Victoria Square this evening for a vigil to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week.

As part of the event, organised by the Bolton branch of the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS), Bolton Town Hall shone pink and blue in support of parents who have lost a baby.

Meanwhile, dozens of candles were lit in the baby memorial garden at Royal Bolton Hospital as hospital staff, families and bereaved parents united to remember precious babies who have died.

The event in Victoria Sqare was co-organised by Westhoughton mum, Debbie Horrocks, who went through a stillbirth three years ago when she was 32 weeks pregnant with her son Oscar.

After discovering there was no SANDS group in the Bolton area, she decided to set up her own along with other parents who had gone through a similar experience.

The group meets in Westhoughton each month.

And from 7pm this evening, parents who have experienced the trauma of losing a baby were joined by friends, family, and passers-by in lighting candles and leaving messages on the town hall steps.

Ms Horrocks said: “This is going on around the world. The idea is for people to share the pictures online and use the hashtag #WaveOfLight so it will show how many people have been affected.

“A lot of people here tonight have lost a child. Some passers-by have even stopped and shared their story with me.

“My children are here and they have written messages to Oscar, too.”

Some 50 people attended the memorial at Royal Bolton, including members of Bolton Miscarriage and Baby Loss Support Group, which was set up by Heaton mum Emma Sleith in 2017.

The group runs every last Tuesday of the month from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the 3rd Space Cafe in Deansgate. To find out more contact Emma on or visit the 'Bolton Miscarriage and Baby Loss Support Group' Facebook page.

Staff at Royal Bolton organised the candlelit memorial as part of the global 'Wave of Light' which is held on October 15 every year at the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Similar events were held elsewhere in the country to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced the loss of a child.

Baby loss occurs in many forms including stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death.