Thousands of babies tragically die each year. In 2013, 5712 babies were stillborn or died soon after birth in the UK, shattering the lives of expectant parents, their families and their friends and the people who have cared for them.

That’s why bereaved mother Marie Manson, is one of a group of local parents on a mission to provide support to fellow bereaved families.

Working with Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Marie and three other bereaved parents have launched the Shetland Group offering people who live locally, and who have been affected by the death of a baby, to come along to support meetings. 

The group will kick off with its first support meeting on Tuesday 17th November from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Islesburgh Community Centre, Lerwick.

Meetings will then continue to be held on the third Tuesday of every month. The venue may change from time to time but will be advertised nearer the time. Dates will vary month to month.

The new Group hopes that local parents and families will benefit from Befriending support via telephone, email support and Group meetings. 

The Group will also continue with fundraising in Shetland and are very grateful to the community for their support so far.

Marie Manson, Chair of Shetland Sands, said:

“My little boy was still stillborn in 1995 I decided to set up a group in Shetland for Sands to help others who have been through this tragedy of losing a baby, it can be a very lonely time and to have someone to speak to either by email, phone or in person was the best thing for me. 

“People in Shetland have been very grateful with donations and fundraising for Sands both UK and Aberdeen and I felt this was the right time to try and get a group established in Shetland.”

For more information and support please contact Shetland Sands on 07341945028 or