Bereaved mums and dads in Stockport and High Peak areas are inviting people who have been affected by the death of a baby, to come along to the re-launch of the local Sands (Stillbirth & neonatal death charity) support group.

The Stockport group supports parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth. The first meeting will take place on Friday 30 June at the Torkington Centre, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 4PY from 7pm-9pm.

The group is re-launching to provide more support for bereaved parents than ever before, and will allow the committee to strengthen the already positive links within the community and at Stepping Hill and Macclesfield hospitals.

After the re-launch, regular support meetings will take place every month at the Torkington Centre, and bereaved parents are more than welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat.

Sands groups are run on a voluntary basis by people who have themselves experienced the death of a baby.

Natalie Englestone, Chair of Stockport Sands, said: “Our support group is gentle, warm and informal and we offer support to anyone who has suffered the death of a baby through late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and interruption of pregnancy due to abnormality. Everyone is welcome. You can cry. You can smile. You don't have to talk if you don't want to. We want you to know that you are not alone and that you are guaranteed a warm reception from other bereaved parents who understand.”

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands, said: “We hope that the Stockport Sands group will go from strength to strength in helping and supporting bereaved parents and their families at a devastating time for them. Many bereaved parents tell us that other parents who have experienced the death of a baby are able to offer real understanding and empathy.

“I would urge anyone in the local area who is bereaved to come along to a meeting in the future. We are dedicated to providing emotional support and information right from the early hours after a baby's death, through to the weeks, months and years ahead.”

For further information and details of the future meeting dates, email: stockportsands@outlook.com visit: www.facebook.com/stockportsands or call the Sands national Freephone Helpline on 0808 164 3332. Follow Sands on Twitter at @SandsUK

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Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Lee Armitt, Press and PR Officer in the Sands press office on 020 3897 3449/07587 925411 or media@sands.org.uk

About Sands

Sands is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. They work nationally to reduce baby deaths through promoting better maternity care and funding research. They have a programme of training and a wide range of resources designed to support professionals to improve the bereavement care they provide following the death of a baby, and they provide a comprehensive bereavement support service both nationally through their helpline and locally through around 100 regional support groups based across the UK. Further information can be found at www.sands.org.uk