Sands has been supporting bereaved families and the professionals who care for them for over 40 years. Our consultancy services can help your organisation to develop and implement best practice to ensure bereaved parents receive the support that they need when they need it most. We can support statutory, voluntary and corporate services on all issues relating to the death of a baby, ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to support bereaved families.

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For further information on how Sands could help to support your organisation call 020 7436 7940 or email: consultancy@sands.org.uk

For employers

What difficulties do bereaved parents face in the workplace?

A survey of bereaved parents by Sands in 2018 found that:

  • Only 22% were aware of their employer’s policies for supporting staff if their baby died.
  • 42% did not feel supported by their employer to return to the same job.
  • 27% were not contacted by their employer after their baby died.
  • 38% of those contacted by their employer did not feel that their employer’s communication was sensitive and appropriate.
  • 43% reported that no one talked to them about the death of their baby.

How Sands can help

Sands can provide a bespoke service to meet your organisation’s needs, including:

  • Development of appropriate policies to support bereaved staff who experience the death of a baby.
  • Communication skills advice and training for human resources staff and senior management.
  • Information and advice around supporting staff in returning to work.
  • Information around legal entitlements to pay and leave following the death of a baby, and other sources of support.
  • Practical advice on how to support other employees affected by their colleague’s baby loss. 

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For healthcare services

We can support you to ensure that your organisation has a developed bereavement care service for parents who experience the death of a baby at any point during pregnancy or following birth. We will work in partnership with you to ensure that services are geared towards the needs of bereaved families.

Taking national guidelines as a starting point, we will work with you on the best ways for putting this into practice in often challenging environments, and ensuring that bereavement care is fully embedded within your services. Whether it is guidance on specific issues, the development of a parent-centred bereavement care service or broader training requirements for staff, we have the knowledge and expertise to help. 

Quick do's and dont's

Click on the image to download our quick tips in a pdf

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Launch announcement

Sands is delighted to launch the charity’s new consultancy service Work and baby loss: essential services for employers. The consultancy services include a new half-day training workshop for employers that will help companies to ensure that bereaved parents are properly supported in the workplace. Employers are in a position to make a real difference to the lives of bereaved parents, yet this is not always the case.

Read our launch announcement 

Case study - training for employers with Lendlease

Sands was pleased to pilot its Training for Employers workshops with Lendlease and their mental health first aiders network.

Lendlease, a leading international property and infrastructure group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas, started their mental health programme five years ago and have a strong commitment to supporting the wellbeing of employees in their workplace.

The sessions enabled participants to develop the knowledge and skills needed to feel confident in communicating sensitively with staff whose baby has died, and to develop an understanding of current employment rights.

Paul Hay, Environment, Health and Safety Training Manager at Lendlease Europe, said: “It’s incredibly important for us as a company to support the wellbeing and mental health of all our employees. Ensuring we have the right support in place for anyone who has been affected by baby loss is a crucial part of our mental health programme and so it was imperative that we took part in these informative and expertly delivered training workshops from Sands.”

Emma Cann, Framework Lead at Lendlease, said: “Returning to work after the loss of a baby is isolating and overwhelming. By training staff to understand how they can support colleagues after such a devastating loss will help make that step a little less daunting.” 

The new consultancy services are an important new area of work for Sands, allowing us to work with organisations to ensure that bereaved parents receive the right support in the workplace.

A bereaved parent said: “It was difficult for me to return to work after my son was stillborn. On my first day back one of my senior colleagues met me outside so I had someone to walk into the building with, this made it a bit easier to do. Many people think that mentioning your baby will make you sad but actually I really appreciate it when people at work talk about her.”