Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference
Past, Present and Future

17th November 2018, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Glasgow

Register your participation here

We're excited to announce that Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference and the Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 17th November 2018 from 9.00am to 4.30pm at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN) and we would very much like you to join us.

Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference is aimed at trustees, members, staff, volunteers, befrienders, bereaved parents, supporters and donors and seeks to provide an opportunity for the whole organisation to come together, celebrate what has been achieved by Sands over the last 40 years and commit to what more needs to be done to make our vision a reality.

The theme of the Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference is Past, Present and Future to reflect the achievements of everyone who has worked with us over years to support bereaved parents and reduce the baby death rate in the UK. As part of the conference, we’d like to acknowledge and share key milestones in Sands history and celebrate a shared commitment to the vision and values of Sands, with a focus on how we can work together to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, improve bereavement care and fund research to reduce the number of babies dying.

Why attend?

  • Discover key achievements of Sands over the last 40 years and the difference these have made to all those affected by the death of a baby
  • Learn more about Sands strategy 2017-2020: next steps and how these will help the charity achieve its overall aims
  • Take key learning from two workshops and use this to inform and improve the work of Sands

What to expect on the day?

Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference offers keynote speeches from our two Sands Co-Founders - Bel Mooney and Hazelanne Lewis, as well as networking opportunities amongst members, volunteers, befrienders, fundraisers, bereaved parents and staff and two sets of workshops on a variety of topics (see below).

#Sands40 Volunteers Awards Ceremony

In our 40th year, we would like to acknowledge and celebrate the wide range of volunteering involvement in Sands. As one of the highlights of this year's conference, Sands Volunteer Awards ceremony will be hosted as part of Spotlight on Sands to recognise 40 amazing volunteers and champions, who have been nominated by their peers, colleagues, members, staff and bereaved parents for the incredible support and contribution they make across the UK to support bereaved parents and anyone affected by the death of a baby.

If you would like to nominate a volunteer, please email

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be hosted for an hour ahead of the conference and will provide Sands members with an opportunity to hear an update from the Board of Trustees on activities and progress made during the past year.

Friday Evening Reception

For those of you travelling to Glasgow on the Friday and staying overnight, the Trustees would also like to invite you to an informal reception on Friday 16th November from 6.30pm to 8pm in the Library at The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. This is an ideal opportunity to meet other members, trustees and staff, so we do hope you will be able to join us.

We look forward to welcoming you to Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference and AGM.

How to register?

To book your place at the Sands 40th Anniversary Conference, please click here.

For a paper version of the booking form, please click here and return the completed form to or post to Sands, Victoria Charity Centre, 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB by 31 September 2018.

Notices of the AGM will be issued to members in due course and, to receive your notice in good time, you should ensure your membership is up to date by 31 September 2018.

Funding Available

There is some funding available for those who need support with travel, with priority given to members and supporters.

If you would like further information on how Sands can help fund your attendance, please email or telephone 0203 897 3428.

As Sands has limited resources, priority will be given to Sands’ members and supporters and there may be a waiting list for sponsorship to attend. Any requests for support to attend the conference will be discussed with you in strictest confidence.

Please note Group delegates should submit their expenses claim, duly approved by the Chair/Treasurer.


08:15 – 08:50 Registration and Refreshments

09:00 – 09:05 Welcome, Introduction & Candle Lighting

09:05 – 09:45 AGM

09:45 – 10:00 Q and A

Sands’ 40th Anniversary Conference

10:15 – 10:30 Introduction – Sands: past, present and future

10:30 – 11:20 Keynote Speakers

11.20 – 11.45 Break

11:45 – 12:45 Workshops 1

12:45 – 13:15 Remembering parents’ experiences

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 14.20 AGM results

14:15 – 15:20 Workshops 2

15:20 – 15:55  Spotlight on Sands

15:55 – 16:10 Tea/Coffee break

16.10 – 16.25 Volunteer Awards

16:25 – 16:30 Final summary and close

*Please note that workshop topics and agenda are subject to change. 


1. What parents need to find a “new normal” (Nileema Vaswani and Sam Murphy)

Sands are working with the Open University, developing a robust and evidence-based framework of bereavement support specifically for parents. Your lived experience is vital to this to help us co-create something which really works and supports.
Come and share a session facilitated by Sam Murphy from the OU and Nileema Vaswani our Bereavement Support Services Manager, to tell us what has worked and what hasn’t and have the chance to be involved in this piece of research.

2. Fundraising – sharing good practice (Bristol Sands and the Challenge Events Team)

Bristol Sands share how they have very successfully raised funds for both core work and local projects; a chance to pick up new ideas and to ask lots of questions.

3. Working with your local hospital – sharing good practice (Maria Huant)

This workshop will bring together the experiences of volunteer Groups who have engaged their local hospitals to receive donations, materials and training. Its objective is to help volunteers liaise with their local units to learn where existing needs can be met. We will look at the process of engaging your local healthcare professionals from making an initial contact, offering materials and training through to collaborating in large-scale projects to refurbish family rooms and suites. We will share the experiences of volunteers who have worked to feed back their members’ needs to maternity staff to improve existing provision. We will help you plan your communication, anticipate issues and trouble-shoot during the key stages of hospital liaison.

4. How we inspire people to support Sands (Jen Coates and Richard Craig)

Sands is determined to make a real difference to the lives of bereaved families across the UK. To allow us to continue and expand on our core work of supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, improving bereavement care and promoting research, we need to work together to develop a strong stream of income. We all have a role to play to inspire our amazing supporters about the urgency of their efforts, and the importance of the funds they raise for Sands’ core work.

This workshop will explore what we are doing to meet our core aims – and why we think these will make a difference; and will look at how we use our work to inspire supporters and fundraisers.

5. Sands’ role in developing the National Bereavement Care Pathway (Marc Harder and Sue Cooper)

32 sites have piloted the National Bereavement Care Pathway over the past year. Along with its partner charities, Royal Colleges and parent groups, Sands has had an important leadership role in taking the pathway from inception to implementation. This important programme for change amongst professionals has been established in order to provide greater and more consistent care for bereaved parents and families.

In this workshop Marc, as Sands’ Project Lead and Sue Cooper, Bereavement Midwife for Hull (Wave 1 pilot site), talk through the successes and challenges of the NBCP thus far, the impact for parents, and look at how we plan to roll the pathway out more widely across the UK.

6. How does Sands research make a difference? (Mehali Patel)

Sands believe that having robust evidence is important to improving care and understanding how to prevent deaths. We also believe that parent’s views and experiences should be at the heart of research.

The research and prevention team want to hear from parents how they would like to be involved in shaping and influencing research projects. What you need to get involved, the kinds of opportunities parents want to see and what support is needed but also we want to tell you about some of the projects we have been working on and why they are exciting.

7. Addressing the risk factors for perinatal death that matter: a new paradigm of research into practice (Dimitrios Siassakos - Associate Professor / Reader in Obstetrics, University College London & Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics, University College London Hospital)

In this workshop Professor Siassakos will summarise cutting-edge research from University College London, as well as recent literature, to prompt a discussion of novel ways to reduce the number of babies who die.

8. Research and parent involvement, Bristol University (Christy Burden and Danya Bakhbakhi)

Bristol University has been at the forefront of harnessing the views of bereaved parents in research. Come and join a session with researchers Christy Burden and Danya Bakhbakhi who will share work on both PARENTS2, a study around engaging parents in the review of their baby's death, and i-Choose study which aims to develop a core outcome set for care after stillbirth by understanding the impact of stillbirth on bereaved parents and establishing what measures we should be using to assess if care has met parents' needs.

Travel and accommodation

To book your accommodation, please follow one of the links below:

How to get there?

For directions to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, click here

From Glasgow Airport by car:

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Glasgow Central is just 15 minutes from Glasgow International Airport by car. Get on to the M8 from junction 28. At junction 18 exit towards Anderston/Charing Cross/City Centre. Turn left on to Pitt Street and the right onto West George Street. Take the second left onto Blysthwood Square and continue straight onto Douglas Street, taking a right onto Sauchiehall Street. From there, take the first left and then the next right onto Renfrew Street. Finally turn left onto Cambridge Street and the hotel will be on your right. The car park is situated at the rear of the hotel.

From Glasgow Airport by bus:

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Glasgow Central is a 30 minute commute from Glasgow International Airport. From the terminal building, go to stance 1. From stance 1 take the 500 Glasgow shuttle bus towards Glasgow City Centre – these buses depart every 10 minutes and take approximately 15 minutes to get into the city centre. End your journey at Buchanan Street Bus Station and turn right onto Renfrew Street. Walk straight for 7 minutes and the hotel will be on your right.

From Glasgow Central Train Station:

Glasgow Central Train Station is 0.5 miles from the hotel. From the train station, take a right onto Hope Street and walk straight until you reach Renfrew Street. Take a left onto Renfrew Street and then turn right onto Cambridge Street. The hotel will be on your right. There is a taxi rank outside of Glasgow Central station and a short taxi ride will cost you approximately £4.50.

From the city centre by car:

You can reach our hotel in just 5 minutes by car from Glasgow city centre. Drive down Sauchiehall Street turning right onto Newtown Street. Turn left onto Elmbank Crescent and then left again onto Elmbank Street. Turn right onto Sauchiehall Street and then left onto Rose Street. Take the first right turn onto Renfrew Street and then the first left onto Cambridge Street. The hotel will be on your right.

From the city centre by foot:

Visitors can reach the hotel from Sauchiehall Street in just 10 minutes by foot. Walk straight down Sauchiehall Street towards Cambridge Street and turn left onto Cambridge Street and the hotel will be located on your right.

From Glasgow Queen Street Train Station:

Glasgow Queen Street Station is 0.5 miles from the hotel. From the station, walk north on Dundas Street towards Bath Street. Take a left onto Bath Street then turn right onto Buchanan Street. Continue onto Sauchiehall Street, taking a right onto Cambridge Street. The hotel will be on your right. There is a taxi rank outside Glasgow Queen Street station and a short taxi ride will cost you approximately £4.50.

From Glasgow Airport by taxi:

A taxi from the hotel to the airport costs around £25.