Connecting the Sands community and remembering our much-loved babies.

Each year Sands hosts a day at the National Memorial Arboretum

  • Connecting the Sands community together in the morning, involving supporters in the vital work we do and sharing more about the impact your support and volunteering has.
  • Holding a remembrance event in the afternoon for all babies, helping families and individuals to find hope. Last year, we added to the event for the first time to make it a full day to bring our community together. 

Sands Garden Day 2024

When: Saturday 22 June 2024

Where: National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire

9:30 - 10:30am Arrival, tea and coffee 

10:30am - 1:15pm Awards and activities recognising the impact of the Sands community 

2:30 - 4:30pm Remembrance event

The day will feature our special remembrance event in the afternoon, but in the morning, we will have a look back at everything Sands has achieved over the last 12 months and the impact we have made together. We'll also get the chance to celebrate the wonderful work of our amazing volunteers with our Volunteer Awards and recognise healthcare professionals who have shown excellent compassion and care with our Elaine Thorp Awards for Bereavement Care.

Throughout the day there will also be various remembrance opportunities, informational stalls, and family-friendly activities. Come along to find out more about Sands, our work, and how to get involved.

Book your tickets to attend Sands Garden Day 2024.



If you are not able to attend this year, you can dedicate a heart in advance on one of our beautiful Trees of Love that will be on display at this year's Garden Day. Each heart will be written by a volunteer and hung on a tree at the event dedicated to the memory of all our much-loved babies that remain in our hearts forever. 

You can also contact your local Sands Group to reach out for support. Please see the map below to find your local memorial garden, many of them created by Sands, where you can spend some quiet time to remember your baby.


The arboretum is accessible from the motorway and by public transport. Find out about getting to the venue

Please note, if you are planning to drive, we advise that you book parking in advance. 

Garden Day 2023

Here is a lovely round up of last year's event. This is a really uplifting film, but we understand it may also be emotional to view so please take your time and remember that we are always here for you if you need us. 


Can I bring my children?

Yes, children of all ages are very welcome to join us on the day, please make sure you book a Child’s ticket for them too.  Please note that children will need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Can I bring my dog?

Whilst well-behaved dogs are allowed in some areas of the National Memorial Arboretum, they are not permitted in the Aspects building. Assistance dogs are of course welcome. 

How can I get to the venue?

You can find all the information about planning your journey to the venue.

Do I need to book a place, or can I just turn up on the day?

There are limited spaces for our Garden Day event so you will need to book in advance if you would like to attend.  

I don't want to go to all parts of the day - do I have to attend each session?

No, please feel free to either attend the whole day or whichever elements you would like to. 

I have extra accessibility needs, are you able to help?

We will try to accommodate all access requirements. Find out more information about accessibility at the National Memorial Arboretum, and upon booking your place(s) there will be an option to request additional assistance. 

Do I need to print out my tickets?

You will not need to print out your tickets or show them on the day, but we kindly ask if you can no longer make it, to please cancel your place so others are able to attend.  

Can I stay nearby?

Find more information about local accommodation options in the area. 

Where can I find out more information about the National Memorial Arboretum?

Find out everything you need to know about the National Memorial Arboretum.

Who is this event for?

Everyone is very welcome to attend our Garden Day event whether you are personally bereaved or not, if you’ve heard of us once or have been a volunteer with us for many years, or if you’re a professional that works with us and just wants to know a little bit more. We’d love to see you there.  

I've never been to a Sands event before, what can I expect?

You are most welcome, whether you have been before or not. And we can guarantee that you won't be the only person there for the first time! Sands events try to create a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of time for meeting others who have had similar experiences, but also allowing space to be private if you prefer. Nothing is compulsory, but you can join in whatever parts of the day feel important to you. There will be opportunities to find out more about what Sands does, remember our babies, and get to know each other. There will be time to explore the arboretum, and you can either bring a picnic or buy food in the cafe. 

I'm recently bereaved, what if I get upset?

It is absolutely fine to express your emotions: the other attendees will understand. If you would like to speak to someone in confidence, we will have some of our trained Bereavement Support Services Officers on hand. And if you just want some time out or peace and quiet there is plenty of space in the arboretum to be private. You can dip in and out of the programme for the day as you want. 

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