Celebrations to mark tenth anniversary of New Forest Birth Centre

The tenth anniversary of the New Forest Birth Centre will be marked with the completion of artwork using the fingerprints of the babies who have been delivered there.

Staff at the centre decided to celebrate the anniversary, which was last year, by producing pictures of trees decorated with the fingerprints of children who had been born there and invited back to make their mark.New Forest fingerprint1

The willow tree was donated by a local company New Forest Print and the Wisteria tree was drawn by the local artist Kat Pullen (pictured right with son Owen). The artwork will be completed this Saturday when an anniversary fete is held to mark the milestone. A brass band will open proceedings at the centre on Lyndhurst Road and visitors will be entertained by a variety of stalls and entertainment including a tombola, bouncy castle, glitter tattoos and a raffle.

Since the centre was opened in September, 2008, staff have helped deliver around 3,400 babies at the midwife-led unit.

A popular birthing choice for expectant parents , the centre offers a home from home environment complete with birthing pools and views across the New Forest and is suitable for those mums who are assessed as being low risk.

Emma Restall’s children both took part in one of the fingerprint sessions that have been held throughout the year.Julie and children

Speaking about her experience of the centre, she said: “It was just a really calm environment and as I am not a fan of hospitals it was the perfect choice for me to give birth. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

“It is a lovely way of marking the anniversary with the fingerprint trees to include the children who have been born there,” added Emma (pictured right with midwife Julie Gooch)

Staff are also looking forward to expanding the facilities with the refurbishment of a room which will be used by community groups linked to supporting expectant and new parents and a training space for staff.

Organiser of the anniversary fete midwife Julie Gooch said: “We are very much looking forward to the day and would encourage anyone who hasn’t already contributed to the artwork to come along. We hope it will be a real celebration of our ten years  here at the New Forest Birth Centre.”

The event runs from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday, 22 June at the New Forest Birth Centre, Lyndhurst Road, Ashurst.