An important message from Sands CEO Clea Harmer appealing for support to ensure the stability of Sands future.
Right now, COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on both bereaved parents and NHS staff and we know that the demand for Sands’ services will rise as this national crisis continues.
Thousands of bereaved families across the UK who are already struggling with the death of their baby are facing uniquely harsh challenges. Every day, COVID-19 is impacting on newly-bereaved families’ ability to spend precious time with their baby making memories; it is creating extreme difficulties in arranging funerals; and is making coping so very much more difficult because of isolation from friends and family.
Indeed, you may be one of those who are finding it very difficult, and we want you to know that Sands is here to support you.
At the same time, our front-line NHS staff working in hospitals are under unimaginable pressure supporting bereaved families at the worst moment in their lives, in the very best way they can.
People affected by the death of a baby and NHS staff need the support of Sands more than ever. Everyone at Sands is working every day to ensure that we respond to this crisis by:
1. Increasing capacity on our free helpline so that we can meet the demand from bereaved families and the increase in calls we are receiving from anxious women who are pregnant again after the loss of a baby
2. Adapting our bereavement services so that we can provide more effective support online
3. Developing and equipping NHS staff with the skills, latest information and confidence to support bereaved families when the worst happens; and very importantly to provide support to staff themselves
4. Promoting safer pregnancy messaging for pregnant women during these uncertain times to help save babies’ lives
5. Supporting urgent research looking at the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and perinatal death
Through these tough times, our amazing and resilient staff and volunteers will continue to provide the vital support necessary for all bereaved families and NHS staff. And Sands will not stop working to save babies’ lives.
We desperately want to be there for bereaved parents and NHS staff, and for you if you need us.
However, Sands’ funding continues to decline and without enough funds we will struggle to be there for everyone who needs us. I absolutely understand that times are challenging for everyone and so anything you can donate to the Sands Resilience Fund would be hugely appreciated. Please help us to help more people who need our support.
Thank you so much for your support and for helping us to be there for you and for those who need us.
Stay safe and with very best wishes.
Chief executive, Sands