Bereaved parents and their families in Norfolk could be without the help and support they need after the death of a baby, as our Norfolk support group is under threat of closure. 

Without volunteers to fill the committee roles, the group will be forced to close and a valuable resource and much needed support service will be lost.

Volunteers do not necessarily have to be bereaved parents but should have an empathy with Sands’ work.

The group would also like to recruit extra befrienders so they can offer more support to bereaved parents. Befrienders provide support to anyone affected by the death of a baby over the phone and in person at group meetings.

New befrienders must successfully complete Sands’ training, and a minimum of two years must have passed since their baby died.

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.

Laura Burdett, a bereaved mother at Norfolk Sands, said: “When your baby dies, you feel like the only person in the world it’s happened to. No one knows what to do or say, so often they say nothing, leaving you feeling isolated and utterly alone in your grief.”

Norfolk Sands also works in partnership with Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital and James Paget Hospital to support them in providing the best care and facilities possible for bereaved parents. 

Juliet Cox, a bereaved mother at Norfolk Sands, said: “The Norfolk Sands support group helped me enormously when I lost my baby boy at 22 weeks. Just being able to spend time with, and talk to other people who’d also been affected by the loss of a baby in such a friendly, supportive and non-judgemental environment was invaluable.”

Our chief executive, Dr Clea Harmer, said: “I’m appealing to local people in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the surrounding areas to help us recruit new volunteers, so we can continue to support bereaved parents and their families locally. Many bereaved parents tell us that other parents who have experienced the death of a baby are able to offer real understanding and empathy. 

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

The Norfolk Sands group monthly meeting takes place on the first Thursday of each month at Treat Norwich, Capitol House, Treat Norwich, 4-6 Heigham Street, Norwich NR2 4TE between 8pm-10pm.

Recently bereaved and long ago bereaved parents and their families are welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat.

For further information contact Rose Abrehart, East Network Coordinator at Sands on 07707 480020 or email: rose.abrehart@sands.org.uk