A FATHER-of-three embarked on a 230-mile cycle to Paris on Thursday to help fund a bereavement suite at Great Western Hospital and ensure parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy or in labour are given space to grieve away from the main maternity ward.

Greig Evenett was baffled to discover that distraught families were placed alongside happy couples celebrating their new arrival on the maternity unit when a senior consultant at his recruitment firm C&D, Marie Ariyaratne, and his former schoolmate Laura Kirby-Deacon both experienced the loss of a child in hospital.

Along with his colleagues he opted to support stillbirth and neonatal charity SANDS’s project to open a dedicated bereavement area to offer parents privacy on the ward through their ordeal.

Greig, 37, of Peatmoor, set off on Thursday morning with his friend and challenge partner Danny Goggin and was due to cycle 120 miles to Brighton before boarding a ferry at Newhaven to Dieppe to arrive in Paris on Saturday morning at 12pm.

He is hoping to raise £1,000 through the expedition.

“It must be very difficult when you lose a baby and have to go back on the ward with happy parents and their newborn babies,” he said.

“You don’t think about it unless it happens to you or someone you know. There is a desperate need for a bereavement suite.

“When you find out people you know are being affected you think there must be loads more. This goes on all the time. If we could help getting some money for the bereavement suite that would be great.”

Greig is hoping to raise £1,000 towards the suite.

The bereavement suite would include a couple of informal rooms, complete with a double bed and tea and coffee station.

So far SANDS has raised £15,000 towards furnishings and anything necessary to make families as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. GWH was also awarded a £100,000 grant from the NHS Improvement Fund toward the refurbishment. Any extra funds raised from now on will go to the upkeep of the suite and little extras over the years.

To sponsor Greig and Danny visit justgiving.com/CDRECRUITMENT. To make a donation to SANDS go to swindonsands.org or email admin@swindonsands.org.