Improving bereavement care is of vital importance to everyone involved in Sands and the healthcare professionals who care for bereaved parents and their families.

This award is being offered to health and social care professionals working in and around the Midlands area, who have some experience in supporting bereaved parents and their families.

The award commemorates the work of Elaine Thorp, a midwife who became a strong supporter of Sands and was heavily involved in the charity. Elaine championed excellence in bereavement care, making a significant difference to families using services at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

To submit your application for the 2018-2019 Award, please complete the form below by 4pm, 15th June 2018.

Aims of the Award

Sands wants to preserve the legacy of Elaine’s work, and support a health and social care professional to continue championing the work that Sands does around raising awareness about the importance of offering excellent bereavement care.

The award winner will be expected to promote key messaging around improving bereavement care, across the Midlands area and their local professional networks from September 2018 to September 2019.

With support from Sands, we would expect the winner to:

  • Disseminate key improving bereavement care messages on behalf of Sands including:
    • Sands’ principles of bereavement care
    • Promoting and supporting the National Bereavement Care Pathway
    • Promoting Sands training to appropriate audiences
    • Signposting health and social care professionals to Sands resources (website, leaflets etc)
  • Engage with Sands on social media and promote key messaging around improving bereavement care on social media effectively  
  • Support the work and key messaging of Sands during Baby Loss Awareness Week (October 2018) by hosting an event or display
  • Support the work and key messaging of Sands during Sands Awareness Month (June 2019), by hosting an event or display

Award package of support

To support the winner, we will offer a package of support that will include the following:

  • 1 fully funded place to the 2018 Joint Conference, including appropriate travel, accommodation and reasonable expenses, offering the chance for the winner to be up to date with the latest work and key practices in bereavement care
  • 1 full days training for up to 20 individuals on an appropriate Sands’ training course for the award winner and their colleagues, offering the chance for the winner’s professional ‘team’ to support them in being a champion for Sands
  • A copy of the Guidelines, complete with bookplate that recognises the winner and the memory of Elaine Thorp, presented at the West Network Day 2019
  • A framed certificate, presented at the West Network Day 2019
  • Access to support from Sands between September 2018 and September 2019 – including named access to key teams to support any queries or concerns that may arise

Who are we looking for?

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate:

  • An awareness of bereavement and loss
  • Excellent communication skills, including communicating key messages to individuals and groups of people
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence
  • A commitment to continuing professional development
  • A sustained interest in Sands’ work, particularly an interest in improving bereavement care OR a sustained interest in public health messaging.

Who can apply?

Any health and social care professional with some experience of supporting bereaved parents in the Midlands area can apply. This includes any 3rd year midwifery student.


Key Dates

Nominations open

9th April 2018

Closing date for nominations

4pm, 15th June 2018


20th June

Telephone or Video Conference interviews for shortlisted bids

w/c 9th July 2018

Decision made and confirmed to successful applicant

By 31st July 2018

Joint Annual National Conference: Transforming Loss: Reaching out to meet the needs of parents (York)

25th September 2018

Sands Bereavement Care Training for Health Professionals Course

To be agreed with successful applicant

Winner undertakes promotion of Sands improving bereavement care messages.

September 2018 to September 2019

Winner gives feedback to volunteers, and receives award

To be confirmed 2019


How to apply

To submit your application for the 2018-2019 award, please complete the form below by 4pm, 15th June 2018.

If you would like a paper copy, please download it here or contact Nathalya Kennedy on to request one.

Selection process

Applications will be shortlisted and those successful may be asked to take part in a telephone or web-based conference interview with the panel.

The award will be judged by Sands staff, Members and volunteers.

  • 1
    Current: Application
  • 2
Are you available for a telephone or face to face video conference interview week commencing 9th July 2018? (tick box)
Are you available to attend the RCM/Sands/Bliss Joint Conference on 25th September 2018? (tick box)

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