Bereaved parents at Sands’ North Herts Sands support group are appealing to people in the local area who have been affected by the death of a baby, to volunteer as a befriender so they can reach out and support more bereaved parents.  

Befrienders offer support by phone to anyone affected by the death of a baby and in person at group meetings. New volunteers will be asked to attend befriender training, and a minimum of two years must have passed since their baby died.

The group is also looking for a new chair to lead the group, as the current post holder will be stepping down next month after two years in the role.  

The North Herts Sands group supports bereaved parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth.

Last year, the group funded training for bereavement care midwives at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and student midwives at the University of Hertfordshire.

By fundraising and joining forces with the East Herts Sands, the group has part-funded a new bereavement suite at the Lister Hospital.

Sands’ groups across the UK are run on a voluntary basis by people who have themselves experienced the death of a baby. 

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive at Sands, said: “We hope the North Herts Sands group will go from strength to strength in helping and supporting bereaved parents and their families at a devastating time for them. Many bereaved parents tell us that other parents who have experienced the death of a baby are able to offer real understanding and empathy. 

“I would urge anyone in the local area who is bereaved to volunteer as a befriender or to help to fill the role of chair. We are dedicated to providing emotional support and information right from the early hours after a baby's death, through to the weeks, months and years ahead.”

For further information call Rose Abrehart, East Network Co-ordinator at Sands on 07707 480020 or email: rose.abrehart@sands.org.uk  

Bereaved parents in the locality and surrounding areas are more than welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat at a future group meeting, which take place on the first Tuesday of every month from 8pm-9.45pm at Great Ashby Community Centre, in Circles Cafe (closed to the public), Whitehorse Lane, Stevenage SG1 6NH. For further details call 07493 172116 or email: northhertssands@gmail.com Visit: www.northhertssands.co.uk