A Boston, Lincolnshire, based group of bereaved parents are appealing for local volunteers to help them re-start a local Sands Group, to support others whose baby has died. Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity has around 100 local Groups throughout the UK.

The group was originally started in 1989 by two friends, one of whom was Janice Elley, who had lost their babies. The group with other volunteers supported families for many years.  They had experienced the roller coaster of emotions that follow the loss of a child. They felt it was important to offer local support to families while accessing information and support from the Sands organisation. Unfortunately the group closed after some years due to a lack of volunteers.

Now Janice along with two other bereaved parents are hoping to re-start the group and hope families in Boston and all surrounding area's will benefit. They also aim to provide resources to local hospitals.

They are calling on anyone else in the area who would be interested in helping start up the Boston and District Sands Group. If you have good organisational skills to help on the committee as Group Secretary or are good with figures and may be interested in becoming the Group Treasurer, or even enjoy fundraising, they would like to hear from you.  You do not have to have suffered a bereavement to be a committee member.

Specialist Sands Befriender Training is available for anyone who has had a baby that has died and who is interested in helping to support local families. A year must have passed since your bereavement before you will be able to train as a befriender.

Janice, who recently trained as a Befriender, says:

“The loss of a baby is something you are not prepared for; the experience is devastating, and effects all the family.

“At present the existing Sands groups are in Peterborough and Lincoln. I and the other people currently involved are keen to ensure that families within our area can once again benefit from support of people who have experienced the loss of a baby.”

If you are interested in getting involved with and helping set up this new Sands Group please contact Sands East Network Coordinator, Rose Abrehart, on 07707480020 or rose.abrehart@uk-sands.org