Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Charity Seeks Volunteers

Could you be a Befriender to bereaved parents?

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Sands (the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death charity) is seeking volunteer befrienders in the West London area. 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK and the organisation is keen to improve its help for bereaved parents.

Sands offer support to anyone affected by the death of a baby, whether the baby dies during pregnancy or soon after birth. They are looking for volunteers who may be able to act as Befrienders, which would involve speaking to bereaved parents on the phone and also coming to ‘support’ meetings.

Any parent, mother or father, who has personally experienced the loss of a baby, a few years or longer ago is welcome to become involved. Older parents are positively encouraged as they may be grandparents now. Parents who are fluent in another language would also be most welcome. Men as well as women are needed.

To become involved, you can come to an initial meeting on Wednesday evening 12 th June, in Chiswick, 7.30 -9.30. Then training provided involves two days in central London in September. Contact Lynn by email: for further information and with any questions. Please give some basic details including phone number and when it is best to contact you.

The organisation says that just a few hours a week could be a great help, plus ‘Support’ meetings on a bi-monthly basis or even less.

  • West London Sands is a registered charity, affiliated to the national Sands organisation. All parents involved in Sands are themselves bereaved parents.
  • 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK.
  • They offer a Befriending service and also monthly meetings for parents affected by the loss of a baby. The monthly evening meeting is for adults; the daytime meeting is a setting where babies and young children are welcome. In this way they try to offer both emotional and practical help to parents during the process of grief. For information on this and dates of meetings, please go to the website below.
  • Sands offer support by phone and email and provide literature.
  • West London Sands fund-raises so that they can for example provide bereavement suites, keepsake boxes and cold cots in local maternity hospitals.
  • They also liaise with, and provide training for professional staff so that best practice care is in place.
  • See the West London Sands website for further information or if you would like to make a donation.



May 14, 2013