AN ALLOA couple have opened up on the heartbreak of losing their infant son in an effort to help others who have endured the same experience.

Paula and Richard Tasker's son Tjay was stillborn two years ago, but the impact of the tragic event remains with them to this day.

The two feel there is still a lingering stigma attached to child loss and insist that people should not have deal with their loss privately.

Paula told the Advertiser: "If someone hasn't went through it and you speak to them about it, they just try and avoid the subject, but it's important to break the silence.

"I know quite a few people who went through the same situation. My sister went through it and my friend went through it. My sister doesn't like to speak about it, because she gets upset, but I'm quite open about it.

"It's the other side of pregnancy that people don't hear about. You always hear about the happy side."

Paula and Richard, both 28, are determined for something positive to come from their harrowing ordeal and have set about trying to support families in the same situation.

Having witnessed first-hand the service provided by those in the Forth Valley Royal Hospital bereavement room, they are hosting a fundraising event in the town as their way of showing their appreciation.

"The staff make you feel welcome," Paula added. "They treat your babies as if they are still alive.

"They ask if you want to cut the cord, bath and dress the baby. That's to try and keep the parents calm and they were amazing with me and Richard."

The hospital also provides parents with different ways in which to express their grief, such as a memory tree where they can place hand-written notes to their child on chrome love hearts.

There is also a little stars page on the NHS Forth Valley website where they can post messages, and Paula said it is all a crucial part of the grieving process.

Paula said: "It's just trying to keep their memory alive. He was our child. He didn't survive, but he's still ours."

The Women and Children's Bereavement team have been working on a project to refurbish the room for the last eight months with the aim of making the facilities less clinical.

And, the Taskers have decided to organise a bingo tea to raise much-needed funds to help do so.

One of the changes that the couple are hoping to contribute towards is the provision of a new bed, which would allow parents to spend time together with the child before they are taken away.

Paula said: "The money is just to help improve the room and make it more homely and comfortable for the parents.

"It is something I have always wanted to do just to say thank you."

She added: "It's the last place you get to see them. The room is a fair size but the midwives want a bigger bed.

"They want to ensure that there's no distance between the partners on a really tough day. It's important that they remain as strong as they can."

The fundraising event will be held at Hawkhill Community Centre on Saturday, August 26, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with many in the area coming forward to do their bit.

"People are donating prizes and a lady is donating a cake," Paula said. "We have people from Falkirk asking if they can come.

"There's no restriction on where you're from, you can come along. The response has been amazing."

Doors open at 6.30pm on the night with eyes down at 7pm.