A SOUTH Belfast dad has been awarded at a ceremony honouring parents coping with stillbirth.

Simon Salter won the ‘Tommy’s Angel Award’ as part of the baby charity’s national awards, now in their 22nd year. Simon and his wife experienced the stillbirth of their daughter, Isobel, in June 2015.

Held at the Landmark Hotel in London on Friday, March 24th, the awards celebrate partners, relatives or friends who have gone out of their way to support and comfort a parent through a pregnancy complication or loss.

33-year-old Simon was nominated by his wife, Alanna, who said: “Simon has been my angel since the moment we found out that our precious first baby daughter had died just a few days before her due date. He encouraged me through a difficult labour knowing my baby was dead.

When she was born, he held her with such pride and love, he allowed me to appreciate how beautiful she was.

“He reassured me that he did not blame me for her death, and repeatedly showed me that I was still a person worthy of love and care when I didn't feel that I deserved any kindness. He held me when I needed to cry but also made me laugh and got me out of the house when I needed to face the world again.”

In memory of Isobel, Simon and Alanna have organised a unique retreat for couples who have experienced stillbirth the new initiative will be launching in April in County Fermanagh.

“You change drastically overnight,” said Simon. “The two of us are dealing with grief in our own way and as parents will know that can put a lot of strain on a relationship.

“The retreat will try to end the stigma attached to stillbirth and we want couples to take something positive from the weekend.”

The Tommy’s Awards categories are for Super Sibling, Doting Dad, Healthcare Hero, Courage, Angel, Inspirational Mum, Little Champion and Mum's Voice.