In September, the new Sheffield Sands hosted their first Bereavement Support Meeting at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane. The aim of these sessions is to provide people who have gone through the experience of losing a child with the support they need.
The charity’s befrienders, who are trained specifically in assisting with baby loss, seek to assist people in a way that fits in with their needs. All Sheffield Sands befrienders are parents who have been through loss themselves.
The support meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Attendees can come for a portion of the session, or attend the entire meeting; just listening to others is welcome, as is active involvement.
Sands befriender, Sarah said: “No one wants to become a member of this heart-breaking community but it’s so important that it’s here for people when the worst happens.”
Committee member, Becky said: “My little boy Harrison was stillborn at 37+1 in 2011. I didn’t visit a group as there wasn’t one in Sheffield so I relied on the internet and the Sands website. I met another mum who had also lost her beautiful girl a few months prior. Having someone to talk to who totally understood was instrumental in the grieving process for me. I’m part of the committee because I want other people to have someone to talk to. No question or thought is out of bounds, or silly. We will be there with a huge smile and a listening ear. Don’t shy away, come and have a chat over a hot cuppa. We might even throw in a biscuit!’
Sheffield Sands was formed last year by a group of like-minded parents and is part of the national Sands stillbirth and neonatal death charity. Sands supports anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. For more information visit www.sands.org.uk.
The formation of Sheffield Sands plugs a gap in South Yorkshire: whilst it is called ‘Sheffield’, the group supports people in Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, and Worksop too.
The Sheffield arm was launched in June. The interest of the public in the charity, and the discussions that members of the committee had with many people who had their own stories to tell, was incredible and highlighted to us how important it is to provide a support service to those impacted by the loss of a baby.
Please contact Sheffield Sands on firstname.lastname@example.org.