Our charity of the month for October is SANDS – the stillbirth and neo-natal death charity – nominated by Emma Elvin.
SANDS was founded by bereaved parents in 1978 who found there was no access to support following the deaths of their babies.
At a time which was supposed to be one of the happiest of their lives, they found there was nowhere to go for the help they desperately needed to cope with the death of their child.
The charity has grown since then, but parents who have experienced baby death are still at the heart of everything they do.
Made up of staff and volunteers, the charity runs the SANDS Helpline and volunteer groups and befrienders to ensure anyone affected by the death of a baby has access to compassionate and experienced support.
Their Improving Bereavement Care team, with support from SANDS groups across the country, trains health care professionals to offer appropriate care to parents and their families when their baby dies.
The charity also helps to fund research which tries to help answer the questions that surround stillbirth and neo-natal death.
It doesn’t get any easier
Said Emma Elvin: “I nominated this charity as unfortunately this is an issue that has affected my family before and no matter how much time has passed it doesn’t get any easier.
“SANDS will support anyone at any time. Whether it be hours, days or years after the loss, you can still contact them either over the phone, via email or even on social media.”
A heartfelt thank you
SANDS fundraising and events manager, Carolyn Bray, said: “On behalf of everyone at SANDS, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Gladstone Brookes for choosing us to benefit from their staff dress-down. We’re really grateful for the money they’ve raised and hope they had fun doing it.
“The donations we receive like this are so valuable to us and allow us to make a very real, and positive difference to many people who have been left devastated by the death of a baby, and will help to continue to improve the bereavement care received by parents and families at such a traumatic time in their lives.”