As Sands, we are always looking to improve and expand on the different ways we offer bereavement support and advice to anyone affected by the death of a baby for as long as they need it.
We have created a brand new mobile Bereavement Support app for bereaved parents, family and friends, partners, grandparents and healthcare professionals where they can access information at their convenience on their smartphone. Launched during Sands Awareness Month and in our 40th anniversary year, Sands app aims to ensure that everyone affected by the death of a baby has all of the information they need at their fingertips, when they are given the devastating news that their baby has died.
The app provides information and advice to help with making difficult decisions, for example around post mortems, saying goodbye to your baby, how to tell others, support for relationships and support around returning to work. The information is made available in bite-size pieces making it easier to read and access, especially when it is so hard to focus or concentrate on anything other than the loss of the baby. There is an option to save most relevant articles to a personalised reading list and an easy way to share the useful parts of content with others to help them understand.
The app will be made available to Sands groups and volunteers for a special preview in order to access their invaluable feedback until the public launch in early September. To download the app, please click here.
The idea to create an app was inspired by bereaved parent Nicole Regan-White whose baby Jessica was stillborn after 42 weeks gestation on 24 December 2013.
Nicole Regan-White, said: “When Jessica died I was devastated and the midwife at the hospital didn’t know what to say to me. At the time I was given 13 booklets, one which was 67 pages long. I could barely read five words, let alone read and digest such a long publication. When I did read it I discovered some of the content was not relevant to us, or it was too late for us to use, and was just too much to take in.
“Shortly after we lost Jessica I contacted Sands to let them know that searching for information was difficult and overwhelming for bereaved parents at the time of a baby’s death. In a digital age we discussed my idea of creating an app that can be downloaded in seconds that provides all the information a bereaved parent and their family would need anytime, anywhere.
“I work for a global business and technology consultancy and submitted my idea to them as one of 20 global project submissions to utilise our key skills. I was so happy and humbled that my idea was chosen, developed out of a personal need and finally granted in September 2014. After returning from maternity leave I can’t wait to launch the app with Sands - that will be an aid to current bereavement care in the UK.”
The app aims to support and help bereaved parents and families find answers in the most challenging time for them. It can also be used by healthcare professionals, who would like to know how to support bereaved parents.
Dr Clea Harmer, Sands chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch the first mobile app for bereaved parents and families. We’d like to say a big thank you to Nicole Regan-White for her years of tireless work and coming up with the idea which was inspired by her baby daughter Jessica.
“We hope that the app helps bereaved parents to know that they are not alone and we are here to offer support and advice to anyone affected by the death of a baby for as long as they need it. We also hope the app will provide help and advice to others in how to support bereaved families.”
The app contains links to the Sands website where you can use find local support groups near you, our helpline number on 0808 164 3332, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and ways to share your story.
Picture: Nicole Regan-White and family.