Sands could not achieve its goals without our team of incredibly dedicated volunteers. There are a number of ways to volunteer with us.
Sands Befrienders play a vital role in offering support to bereaved families throughout the UK. Many of us know first-hand how much comfort and support a Befriender can give. The reassurance of talking to someone else who has been affected by the death of a baby and who is nearby to phone or to meet in a group is invaluable. Sands is very proud to be able to offer this service and we are hugely grateful to the many volunteers around the country on whom the service relies.
Are you ready to befriend?
Befriending is an emotionally demanding role, and both you and we need to be sure you are ready to take it on and have suitable support yourself. If befriending isn’t right for you at this time, that’s ok. If you want, you can get involved in other ways, and you can of course continue to access support for as long as you need it.
To help us decide with you whether you are ready to befriend, we have a number of checks in place that we will take you through.
Share Your Experience
Sands works to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, improve the care bereaved parents receive and reduce the number of babies dying. Please complete this form if you would like to share your experiences with Sands.
If your story is relevant to a media interview request, publication or report that we are developing, we will be in touch to discuss the opportunity with you in more detail.
Volunteer with a Sands Group
Sands is a volunteering organisation, and we wouldn’t exist without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, who carry out a number of vital roles to progress the aims of the charity.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your regional Network Coordinator, who will talk you through the roles and the commitment involved, help you find the right one for you, and put you in touch with your local Group.
Start a new Sands Group
We are proud to have over a hundred Sands Groups across the UK. Our groups carry out vital work, supporting bereaved parents in their local region, as well as raising awareness about babyloss and the issues around stillbirth.
But we are always on the lookout for more groups to start up.
If you want to start a new group and help spread the word about Sands, please see this link
Join our volunteer events team
Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a Team Sands events volunteer. There are lots of ways to get involved with our Volunteer Events Team, and it’s also a great way to meet other Sands supporters and volunteers! Join Team Sands today and help Sands make a real difference to our Fundraisers.
Knit for Sands
Sadly demand for our Always Loved, Never Forgotten Memory Boxes remains constant and our stock of hand knitted or crochet blankets need to be maintained. These blankets are a very special part of the box as each is handmade and we have been told how much comfort they bring to parents after the death of a baby. The pattern is very simple as can be knitted with or without the lace edging. Please note that for a number of reasons we ONLY use WHITE blankets. Please can you spread the word to family and friends. The pattern can be downloaded below.
Get involved in research studies
Researchers often contact us to ask if we can help them find parents to take part in their studies. Usually, they want to hear about parents’ experiences of stillbirth or neonatal death and/or the care they receive (before and/or after the birth). We advertise opportunities to become involved in research on our Facebook page.
Study design and oversight
We are often approached by researchers who want to involve members of the public with specific experience in their proposed study. This is called patient/public involvement (PPI), and it’s now a vital part of health and medical research. PPI can take different forms: you might be asked your opinions over the phone, or at regular meetings with the research team and/or other lay people, for example. Or you may be asked for your opinions on written information that has been produced for potential participants in the research.
General information about PPI and getting involved in research has been produced by INVOLVE, which supports PPI in UK health research. You can also register your interest in helping with research with the National Institute of Health Research here.
Our Networking Events
Every year we run a series of events for our volunteers at locations around the country. We have two main aims for these events:
- To give you an opportunity to network with each other, discussing good practice and sharing situations you encounter
- To bring you together with key members of staff, so you can hear about the work of the charity at a national level, and make sure your experiences and views in our strategic planning discussions