Since Isla died I have found overwhelming support, compassion and friendship from Chesterfield Sands. Sands is the leading national stillbirth and neonatal charity in the UK. They aim to support families when their baby dies before, during or shortly after birth. They aim to raise awareness around the issue of baby loss in this country and support vital reaserch in this field to help reduce the numbers of babies who die in this tragic way.
In this country the socking fact is that 15 babies a day die. That’s every single day. 15 babies will not go home with their parents tonight. It’s truly heartbreaking, and, for a developed country, completely unacceptable. Reaserch suggests that more than half of these deaths could be avoided with changes to care during pregnancy.
The reason I accessed Chesterfield Sands when I live in Sheffield is that Sheffield didn’t have a Sands group. This completely shocked me given the size of Sheffield and given our state of the art women’s hospital Jessops. Statisicly, more babies will die in a city where there are hospitals such as Jessops because they take the sickest babies. Sadly many of those babies will not live yet Sheffield has a socking lack of bereavement services that care specifically for bereaved parents.
So about a year ago, bereaved parents in Sheffield started to come together to try and change this. We have managed to organise ourselves into a proper committe and today we launched ourselves as the new Sheffield Sands group. I’m so proud to stand alongside men and women who have a shared goal, to be there for the bereaved parents of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. We have worked so hard to get up and running and have committed to work equally hard to make this venture a success. We are all bereaved parents. We have all suffered a loss like no other. I can’t tell you how happy and privileged I am to call them my new Sands family.
June is Sands awareness month and during this month our campaign is #15babiesaday. We have been in Sheffield today talking to lovely members of the public, raising awareness of Sands and trying to get people talking about baby loss. We have joined Sands groups up and down the country who have been doing the same. I’m so privileged to be part of this and so happy that we are well on our way to serving the people my beloved home city of Sheffield.
Here are some amazing photos taken up and down the country of people coming together with a washing line with 15 babygrows that represents the 15 baby’s that don’t make it home every day. They have come together to talk about thier babies, raise awareness and let the country know that things simply need to change.