Sheffield charity to hold bereavement support meetings at Bramhall Lane

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On September 14 Sheffield Sands are hosting their first Bereavement Support Meeting at St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

The aim of these sessions is to provide people who have gone through the experience of losing a child with the support they need.

Our 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.

Our 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 heartbreaking community but it’s so important that it’s here for people when the worst happens.

“I look forward to welcoming each and every one of you to our first support group in September.”

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 likeminded parents and is part of the national Sands Stillbirth & 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 we are called “Sheffield”, we support people in Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, and Worksop too.

We launched the Sheffield arm in June, in Barker’s Pool. 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.

The event coincided with the #15babiesaday campaign (15 babies die before, during, or shortly after birth every day in the UK), part of Sands Awareness Month.

Committee Chair, Laura said: “Sands has been an important part of mine, and my husband’s life since our daughter Isobel was stillborn 13 years ago. I was 25 at the time and the first of my friends to get pregnant. I had the perfect pregnancy and none of us even thought for a second that it could go wrong.

“I had never heard of Sands before that day, but ever since my husband and I have put a lot of time into raising money for them. The service they provide and the research they fund is so so important.”

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