Bereaved parents have set up a new group to support anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby in Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk.

The group is part of Sands and has been formed with the support of locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Patsy Warby. The council supports local groups as part of its Families and Communities Strategy.  

The West Suffolk Sands group will use the £910 locality budget funding from Cllr Warby to help cover the cost of setting up the group and the meeting venue fees.   

Cllr Warby, who represents the Eastgate Ward in Bury St Edmunds, said: “I know many people in and around Bury St Edmunds have been affected by the death of a baby.

“It’s not something that people ever fully get over and without support in some form people can end up suffering from depression and other poor health. It can feel isolating – that after all that hope, joy and expectation that for many comes with pregnancy, they are suddenly left alone, struggling to comprehend and deal with this loss.

“That’s why a support network such as this is so greatly needed, so that people going through bereavement can get practical and emotional help from other people who have had similar experiences and I am pleased to be able to help support the group with some of its set up costs.” 

The group will hold their launch event with an awareness and fundraising stall on Saturday 15th September at The Arc Shopping Centre, 14 Prospect Row, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3DG from 10am- 4pm. Bereaved parents and their families are more than welcome to drop by to say hello and to find out more.

Sands’ groups support parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth and are run on a voluntary basis by parents who have themselves experienced the death of a baby.

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for providing funds to help set up a new much needed Sands group in West Suffolk that will help us to reach out and support bereaved parents and their families. 

“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 newly or long ago bereaved to come along to the launch event at The Arc to find out more or to attend a future group meeting.  

"We are dedicated to providing emotional support and information after a baby dies for as long as it is needed.”

We are pleased to be growing and reaching out to more bereaved parents with new groups, in our 40th anniversary this year.

West Suffolk Sands will hold regular monthly support meetings from October that will take place on the first Thursday of each month from 7pm-9pm at Oddfellows Hall, 85 Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1NX. Recently or long ago bereaved parents are welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat. 

To find out more email Angela Carter, Chair of West Suffolk Sands, at:

Picture: Patsy Warby, St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor, meets members of the new West Suffolk Sands support group.