Sands 40th anniversary
Networks & Volunteering Team, Sands | 2 October 2018

Gill Catron-Stokes from Bristol Sands has been nominated as part of 40 volunteers for #Sands40

Jo Anderson, South West Network Coordinator said: “Gill is a previous member of Bristol Sands who has remained in contact with us and regularly still attends our services. She was part of Bristol Sands between 1997 -2003 and she took two years out of work to dedicate to Bristol Sands, to help raise awareness and vital funds. When she arrived there was only £250 in the accounts, but she helped to raise thousands by raising awareness in the local press and contacting retailers and businesses for donations. Bristol Sands simply wouldn't be where it is today if it hadn't been for Gill, she really deserves some recognition for her hard work.”

After losing our first baby Chester in 1996 after many years of trying for a family I discovered the book When A Baby Dies. My lifeline became Sands from that day on. Mark, my partner, and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of other bereaved families. It meant so much to us to improve services for parents in our situation.

We decided to raise funds by contacting local businesses and national companies. At our home we had support meetings and with other Sands organisers, used our home phones for Sands helpline. We then purchased the first mobile phone to use for local Sands support. We contacted our local hospitals to raise standards in training student midwives and updating their bereavement suites. We trained as befrienders with National Sands. We had lost Chester during the Christmas period and found the anniversary very hard so started a local Xmas remembrance service for bereaved families. My company supplied free printing for the services and newsletters. Our Bristol Sands Group is now very active in supporting local families and work very hard. In 2011, my niece also lost her first baby daughter and was supported by Bristol Sands


Gill 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. 


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