Sands, stillbirth, rakhee thakrar, eastenders, star on our tree

When a baby dies, it can have such a devastating impact on parents, their family and friends.  Colleagues and health professionals are also affected by this unthinkable tragedy.  Adjusting and coming to terms with this life-changing experience takes time.  During the holiday season it can feel especially sad and daunting, especially for those anticipating the first Christmas without their baby or loved one.  As with so many ‘firsts’, the anticipation of the first Christmas can more often than not be far harder than the actual day itself.

At Sands we understand first-hand how festive periods, like Christmas, can be especially difficult and through our “Star on Our Tree” campaign we hope that people will feel a little less alone or isolated.  We are asking bereaved parents, families and friends to share with us the many different ways they remember their babies during this time of year and into the New Year to provide mutual support and ideas of what others might like to do.

Please download one of our "Star on Our Tree" selfie images and share with us any images of how you intend to remember your baby this Christmas. 

Star on our Tree selfie image with "I'm supporting Sands this Christmas"

Star on our tree 2015, Sands Christmas Appeal 


Star on our Tree selfie image with "We're supporting Sands this Christmas"

Upload them to our Facebook page ( or Twitter (@SandsUK) or email them to and we will include them in our special “Star on Our Tree” album on our Facebook page.

Sands Christmas Fundraising Appeal 2015

Our Christmas campaign this year being led by our newest ambassador, actor Rakhee Thakrar, who plays Shabnam Masood in EastEnders, and we are asking people to give what they can to help Sands run its vital support services. This includes our helpline that Sands operates right through the festive period, including Christmas Day, to support parents and others in need of someone to talk to.

By giving just a little you can help Sands fund not only its helplines and bereavement support this Christmas but also vital research to reduce the numbers of babies dying. There are over 100 babies a week dying in the UK. Even a small gift will also help finance the charity’s specialised bereavement care training for health professionals and its campaign to improve maternity care. Watch our appeal film with Rakhee Thakrar.

Thank you.

Our helpline will be open over Christmas and New Year as follows and emails will be checked daily:

Christmas Eve (Thursday 24th December) 10am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Christmas Day (Friday 25th December) 10am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Boxing Day (Saturday 26th December) 10am to 3pm, 6 pm to 10pm

Sunday 27th December – Wednesday 30th December normal helpline hours

New Year’s Eve (Thursday 31st December) 10am to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm

New Year’s Day (Friday 1st January) 10am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm

Monday 4th January 2016 normal helpline hours resume

Normal opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6pm to 10pm; closed weekends.