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How a Sunderland charity helped Emmerdale script writers paint a true picture of the heartache of losing a baby

A scene from Emmerdale in the hospital delivery room.
A scene from Emmerdale in the hospital delivery room.
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A Wearside charity which helps families cope with the loss of a baby gave Emmerdale script writers a vital insight as they penned a storyline on the heartache facing its characters,

Millions of viewers tuned in to watch as Paddy and Chas realised their newborn girl Grace would not live long.

4Louis founder Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.

4Louis founder Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.

The episodes were the result of research the soap’s production team did with Washington-based 4Louis and its founder Kirsty McGurrell, helping to show the care those faced with miscarriage, a stillborn child or the loss of a baby should get.

The fund was set up by Kirsty after the loss of her first child Louis, who died 12 days before his due date in 2009.

The pointers were the result of the experiences she and others within the organisation have had, with the scenes featuring one of its own memory boxes, including the two teddies they hold so that the family can keep one and the other can stay with the baby.

The show was aired in the run up to Baby Loss Awareness Week, which will run until next Monday and will see five landmark locations across Wearside lit up in pink and blue thanks the support of Sunderland City Council.

Emmerdale handled it absolutely brilliantly.

Victoria Usher

Penshaw Monument, the Northern Spire bridge, Keel Square, a section of High Street West and the lighthouse at Cliff Park will be lit in the colours at night in recognition of the campaign, backed by 4Louis.

It will accumulate on Monday evening with the Wave of Light event, which will see Souter Lighthouse lit up and fog horn sounded, with families invited to light a candle and be part of the audience for songs and poems.

Victoria Usher, one of the charity’s trustees, said: “This year Baby Loss Awareness Week has been thrown in to the spotlight due to Chas and Paddy’s storyline on Emmerdale that we were honoured to be asked to be part of, through support and advice as well as supplying our memory box and other items for use in the show.

“Emmerdale handled it absolutely brilliantly.

Kirtsy McGurrell, from the 4Louis charity, at a previous Wave of Light event at Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn.

Kirtsy McGurrell, from the 4Louis charity, at a previous Wave of Light event at Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn.

“They certainly did their research and it was handled very carefully and it was a good example of what care people should be getting.

“It’s down to the little details that seem common sense that make such a difference.”

The lighting up of the landmarks has been welcomed by the fund.

Monday’s event at Souter Lighthouse will begin at 7pm.

Founder of 4Louis Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.

Founder of 4Louis Kirsty McGurrell with her memory boxes.

More about 4Louis can be found via 4louis.co.uk/ or its Facebook page www.facebook.com/4louis.charity/.

A scene from Emmerdale i'n the hospital delivery room, Chas Dingle, played by Lucy Pargetter, has just given birth. Both Chas and Paddy Kirk, played by Dominic Brunt, realise the countdown to Grace's death has begun. As they share a tender moments talking about all the things Grace will miss out on in her life, Paddy starts to imagine a trip away with their daughter. Photo by ITV.

A scene from Emmerdale i'n the hospital delivery room, Chas Dingle, played by Lucy Pargetter, has just given birth. Both Chas and Paddy Kirk, played by Dominic Brunt, realise the countdown to Grace's death has begun. As they share a tender moments talking about all the things Grace will miss out on in her life, Paddy starts to imagine a trip away with their daughter. Photo by ITV.