Bereaved parents in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas are inviting local people who have also been affected by the death of a baby, to attend a new Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) support group.

Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death) groups support parents whose baby has died before, during or shortly after birth and the next meeting will take place on Monday 5 February 2018 at 7.30pm at Tesco (in the community space which is adjacent to the tills), 15-18 Viking Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EL. Regular bi-monthly meetings will take place on the first Monday of the month at the same venue.

Bereaved parents from Cambridge, Huntingdon, St Ives, Chatteris, Royston, St Neots, Ely, March, Newmarket, Saffron Walden and Cambourne and the surrounding areas are more than welcome to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat.

The group would also like to recruit more befrienders so they can offer support meetings every month instead of bi-monthly. Befrienders provide support to anyone affected by the death of a baby over the phone and in person at group meetings. New befrienders must successfully complete Sands’ training, and a minimum of two years must have passed since their baby died.

Sands’ groups 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 new Cambridgeshire Sands group will help and support 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 come along to a group meeting in the future. 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.”

The group are linked locally with Addenbrookes (The Rosie) Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital as they arrange Sands’ Improving Bereavement Care training for staff, and provide resources and literature for bereaved parents. In recent months the hospitals have also hosted cake sales by volunteers from the group to raise funds.

For further information call Rose Abrehart, East Network Coordinator at Sands, on 07707 480020 or email rose.abrehart@sands.org.uk The group can also be contacted via its Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/Cambridgeshire-SANDS-277404229352431 Follow Sands on Twitter at @SandsUK

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For further information, please contact Lee Armitt, Press and PR Officer in the Sands press office on 020 3897 3449/07587 925411 or media@sands.org.uk