Bereaved parents at Sands' Monmouthshire support group are appealing to people in the local area who have been affected by the death of a baby, to volunteer as a befriender so they can reach out and support more bereaved parents.  

Befrienders offer support by phone to anyone affected by the death of a baby and in person at group meetings. New volunteers will be asked to attend befriender training, and a minimum of two years must have passed since their baby died.

The group is also looking for fundraisers to help raise funds towards a new bereavement suite at Hereford County Hospital.

The Monmouthshire Sands group, whose one-year anniversary fell last month, support parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth. 

Karen Savage-Grove, a bereaved mother from Raglan, is the founder and chair of Monmouthshire Sands. 

Karen said: “Over the last year Sally, Rhian and I at the group have been able to help parents begin to come to terms with their loss. Our monthly meetings offer support and a safe place for parents to talk about their babies. If anyone in the local area would like to become a befriender or volunteer to help us with our fundraising, please do get in touch.”

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

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands, said: “We hope the Monmouthshire 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 volunteer or come along to a group 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 on volunteering and befriending call HeatherJane Coombs, Wales Network Coordinator at Sands, on 07709 602635 or email: heatherjane.coombs@sands.org.uk  

Bereaved parents in the locality and surrounding areas are more than welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat at a future group meeting, that take place every second Wednesday of the month from 8pm-9.30pm at Bridges Community Centre, Drybridge House, Wonastow Road, Monmouth NP25 5AS. For further details email: monmouthshiresands@gmail.com