With 14 babies dying every day in the UK, it's likely that at least one family in your school will have personally been affected - probably even more.
Help us break the silence around baby loss by opening up the conversation and getting your school fundraising for Sands.
This winter, you can help us raise awareness and funds to ensure that the children in your school who have lost a brother or sister get the support they need and deserve.
Hold your own Starlight Walk at school and let the light from your lanterns shine a beacon of hope for the bereaved families in your school community, letting them know they aren’t alone. By doing so, you’ll be helping fund our sibling support package.
Your school can choose when and how to host their Starlight Walk. Some of our favourite ideas are below:
- Invite parents and walk around the village or town one afternoon
- Walk laps around the school field
- Walk around a local park, lake, castle or nature reserve
If you're a parent or someone with a connection to a local school, register here and we'll email you a letter you can use to invite them to take part.
If you work in a school, you can register for your free Starlight Walk pack here, which includes lanterns for pupils to decorate with drawings and messages for their loved ones, LED tealights, certificates and sponsor forms.
Pupils are asked to collect sponsorship to help bereaved families get the support they need and deserve, but even if they’re not able to, they are still welcomed for their amazing efforts in raising awareness of baby loss.
Why should we help?
Sadly, every year in the UK, an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and over 5000 babies are stillborn or die within the first 4 weeks of life. Sands is a charity supporting research to lower this number, training healthcare professionals to provide better maternity and bereavement care, campaigning for changes to policy, and, when the very worst does happen, ensuring there is support for anyone affected by this most tragic of loss.
As part of the invaluable work Sands do, they are currently developing a suite of resources for children grieving the loss of a sibling following baby or pregnancy loss, to improve their mental health outcomes. These resources will soon be available to schools to support your pupils, some of whom are likely, given how common baby loss is, to have experienced this loss, or sadly will in the future.
Sands needs your support to ensure they can continue this work.
How should I talk about Sands and baby loss?
It can be hard to know the right thing to say when talking about baby loss to younger people.
You also might find that it brings up emotions or grief within yourself that can feel difficult to manage.
Our trained bereavement support team on our helpline are here to help, whether you need advice on how to talk about Sands and our work to younger children, or need to reach out for support yourself. You can reach them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0808 164 3332.
You might also want to know how to support a colleague who has experienced losing a baby. You can sign your staff team up for our Bereavement in the Workplace training here.
What help can you provide?
Whether you need banners and balloons, guidance on what to say about Sands in your school assembly or help turning your idea into a reality, our friendly fundraising team are here to chat.
In the meantime, you can download some resources that might be helpful here:
Other ways to get your school involved
Whether you're a parent, teacher or student, you can get your school involved. By choosing to support Sands, you can make sure we are here for bereaved families so that no one has to go through losing a baby alone.
If the ideas above don't work for your school, there’s so many other things you could do to raise funds, so whether you fancy planning one of our tried and tested events below or using your imagination and coming up with something totally unique, we will support you every step of the way.
Bake for Sands
Raise some dough by organising a bake sale in the playground. We’ve got everything you knead to make it a success, from posters, menus and invites to edible cake toppers.
Make your fundraising meaningful and take part in Challenge 14. Come up with your own challenge linked to number 14. You could do 14 minutes of sponsored exercise each day; create artwork of the number 14 and display it in a gallery and sell tickets to parents; give each class £14 and ask them to grow it as much as possible in one week … the possibilities are endless.
Whether you have a collection at the door of the nativity or carol concert, a stall at the Christmas fair or get everyone to don their Christmas jumpers for the day, there’s lots of opportunities to fundraise at the most wonderful time of the year!
My Marathon My Way
There’s few things as memorable as running a marathon but little legs might not be up for it all in one go! Take on 26.2 miles with your class your own way. You could do it in one day and add up everyone’s distance until you get to 26.2 miles, or you could aim for everyone to run the full distance over a term.
Baby Loss Awareness Week 2021
This year's Baby Loss Awareness Week has now come to a close, but be sure to check back ahead of next year to find out how your school can show its support.
During this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week, you can help us raise awareness and funds to ensure that siblings who have lost a brother or sister get the support they need and deserve.
Between 9th-15th October, your school can standwith Sands to break the silence around baby loss. You can show anyone in your school and community that losing their baby isn't something they have to face alone, and help fund our sibling support package.
Our theme this year is Wellbeing, and we want to invite your school community to join us in recognising the importance of looking after yourself. Each day of the week covers a different topic. We’re discussing how to look after siblings on Tuesday 12th: be sure to join the conversation online: #BLAW2021
Ribbon Run takes place during BLAW. You can pick the distance and pupils can run or walk all in one go or across the week, wearing their ribbon pins.
Download a letter to take to your school here to ask them to take part in Ribbon Run.
Go Pink and Blue
Every year, thousands of family homes and famous landmarks light up pink and blue in support of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Join them by decorating your school pink and blue. You can order tissue paper packs to stick in the windows or get crafty with your pupils and see what ideas they have.
We’re also inviting you to host a Wear Pink and Blue day. Pupils can come dressed wearing pink and/or blue and make a £1 donation. If you want to sell our bespoke pin badges for this day, we can also send you a box and collection tin.
Download a letter to take to your school here to ask them to take part in Go Pink and Blue.