June is Sands Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness of stillbirth and neonatal death and the everlasting impact experienced when a precious baby dies before, during or soon after birth.
The pain of baby loss has traditionally been a taboo subject and people have long been unaware of how common, and how devastating, it is to experience the death of a baby.
More recently a lot of progress has been made in breaking the silence, but there is still a long way to go. Sands Awareness Month is an opportunity to give a voice to anyone who has experienced the death of a baby; to highlight the fact that over 100 babies will die each week during the month of June (and throughout the year) and to raise vital funds so that Sands can continue to support families, work to improve bereavement care and fund, promote vital research and campaign for a world where fewer babies die.
Sands is also launching the Walk a Mile in My Shoes fundraising event. Walks can be done alone, with friends or family or work colleagues and are a chance to share and celebrate memories whilst raising vital funds.
It can be serious or fun (the walks don’t need to be done in hiking boots or trainers), high profile or lower key.
On 13 April 2003 life changed forever for Sean and Sian Casey when their baby girl Ciara was stillborn. During June they will be taking part in Sands’ Walk a Mile in My Shoes.
Sean Casey said: “As a family we were so fortunate that Sands supported us in the days, weeks and years that followed.
“For many years we have continued to strive to raise money for, and awareness of, all the great work that Sands does. In recent years we have even encouraged people to do one of Ciara’s Miles, so it only seems right that as a family we will be taking part in Walk a Mile in My Shoes. More importantly we will be encouraging others to take part.
“Losing a child is unbearable and watching your loved ones in such pain can make you feel helpless. Getting active has made us feel like we are doing something to support and honour Ciara and she is the “fuel” that drives us on.
“We’ll be doing our mile and raising a smile.”
The charity is also asking people to help them spread the word by turning Orange this June!
Individuals and groups across the country will be embracing the colour orange by hosting orange dress down days, orange challenge events such as a baked beans bath or even an orange themed dinner party with carrots, pumpkins and orange sorbet on the menu.
Supporters will be sharing their Orange Selfie on their favourite social media networks to inspire others to do the same, and updating their profile picture and cover photo for the duration of June to raise awareness.
People are also encouraged to support Sands Awareness Month and commemorate babies taken too soon, by texting JUNE01 £5 to 70070.
To find out more about Walk a Mile in My Shoes event please click here.
For further information please click here.