My first son was born in 1984 and lived for one day; it was totally devastating. I was given a name and telephone before I left hospital, which I put with all the sympathy cards.
My second son was born 13 months later in 1985, and had my 3rd son in 1988. I felt then that I wanted to help others, and remembered I had been given a number, so looked it out and called Irene. She explained about attending training and going along to the group meetings, which I did, and was then invited onto Glasgow Sands committee and asked to be group secretary. I did that for many years, and was the main contact for the five maternity hospitals/units in and around Glasgow (sadly now down to two) as well as two others in Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.
Setting up the very first Remembrance service in 1992, which nearly 600 people attended, we decided to make this a bi-annual service. The numbers are a bit less and usually 200-300 attend now. This year, the service took place on Sunday 28th October.
I am still involved with the group but to a much lesser degree, I mostly do things that the rest of the committee are unable to do during the day, and manage the in box.
The most important things we do are the three aims of Sands:
- We support anyone affected by the death of a baby.
- We work in partnership with health professionals to ensure bereaved families receive the best possible care.
- We promote improvements in practice and fund research that could help reduce the loss of babies' lives.
Because of those aims we have reduced the numbers of families affected by the loss of a baby; improved health professionals knowledge and skills to better support families; and improved best practice as well as investing in research.
Christopher Somerville, Scottish Network Coordinator, said: ““Ann is a key person at Glasgow Sands, having given 30 years to the local group. She takes an interest in all that is happening and is one of those key people who knows about everything. Ann has the heart to see the local work is done well and does what needs doing at the time, e.g. stepping up at the last minute to tell her story. Ann is known throughout the Scottish network and has built relationships with many of the groups who hold her in high esteem.”
Ann has been nominated as part of 40 volunteers for #Sands40. Join them at Sands 40th Anniversary Conference on 17th November 2018 in Glasgow.
Sands is marking its 40th anniversary this year and we would like to say thank you for the incredible support and contribution that our dedicated volunteers make across the UK to support bereaved parents and anyone affected by the death of a baby.
We will be hosting an awards ceremony during the Sands 40th Anniversary Conference to celebrate the wide range of volunteering involvement in Sands and acknowledge 40 volunteers for their dedication and commitment.