Together we can save babies’ lives.

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about how you can prevent babies from dying. Donate to our Research Fund Appeal.

More research is desperately needed to save as many as possible of the 15 babies who die each day in the UK. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have already funded studies that are making a difference.

These include a project that is looking at improving the safer pregnancy advice available for expecting parents, a study looking at whether promoting awareness of a baby’s movements can reduce stillbirths and another which is finding better ways to identify babies who may be struggling, so we can help them more quickly.

But with your help we know we can do much more… Because there are so still so many questions that we need to answer about why babies die and how these tragedies can be prevented.

This year we launched a new annual funding programme, so the Sands Research Fund will now support high-quality projects year on year and invest even more money in research. We have received a number of applications from research teams around the UK. We can already fund some of these projects, but we would love to fund even more... and urgently need your help to do this. 

Why now?

Our Board of Trustees, advised by a panel of expert clinicians and researchers, will select the projects we can fund in November according to the money available in the Sand Research Fund. We now have a window of opportunity to boost the Fund so we can say ‘yes’ to as many studies as possible. Together we can enable researchers to continue their vital work and stop babies from dying in the future.

Sands, stillbirth, neonatal death, charity, research, fund, appeal

Be part of the Sands Research Challenge, and please give what you can to support our Research Fund, so that in the future we can save bereaved families like Chloe and Simon Baker and Carla Pilkington (whose stories are featured below) from a lifetime of heartache. 

Chloe and Simon Baker’s son Solomon was stillborn in October 2010

Sands, research fund appeal, solomon, stillborn, chloe, stillbirth“My world came crashing down when my baby boy, Solomon, was stillborn in 2010. I’d had a smooth pregnancy and my husband Simon and I couldn’t wait to be parents. But at 34 weeks I developed back pain and sickness. Simon took me to hospital and I had tests – when they told me they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat, I was filled with panic.

"I was rushed off for an emergency C section and when I came round, Simon broke the devastating news our baby hadn’t survived. I felt my heart had been ripped out, the pain was indescribable. Later, a post-mortem couldn’t find any cause of death, which made things even harder.”

Professor Neil Sebire, Great Ormond Street Hospital & Institute of Child Health UCL

Neil Sebire, sands, research fund, charityProfessor Sebire’s research, part funded by Sands, has sought to improve how babies’ deaths are investigated and recorded. This will help to reduce the number of babies like Solomon whose deaths are ‘unexplained’ (46% of stillbirths).

Professor Sebire said: "The support from Sands has been invaluable in performing our recent work examining the role of autopsy investigations in intrauterine death. The findings will have significant impact on future clinical practice and research directions but would not have been possible without Sands funding.”

Carla Pilsworth’s daughter Daisy was stillborn in February 2011

Sands, research fund appeal, neonatal deathCarla enjoyed a “textbook” pregnancy, and was at 37-and-a-half weeks when her baby stopped moving and she felt some pain.

Carla went into hospital and to her relief, monitors detected the baby’s heartbeat, but it was slow. Fearing baby Daisy was in distress, doctors ordered a Caesarean delivery.
“All of a sudden her heart stopped beating, the line went flat. I was rushed into theatre, I could hear them shouting, 'We’ve got to get the baby out!’. That was the last thing I heard.”

Sadly, attempts to resuscitate Daisy failed. When Carla regained consciousness, she knew immediately what had happened and the pain that she felt was absolutely unbearable. 

Carla later learned that the reason for this tragedy was that Daisy’s placenta had failed and Carla had had an acute abruption as well as further blood clots on Daisy’s cord. Identifying pregnancies at risk like Carla’s and improving interventions to manage those pregnancies is one of the three priorities for the Sands Research Fund.

How you can help save babies' lives