Sands has teamed up with Surrey FA to give men in the area affected by the death of a baby a new way of receiving support through football.
The partnership between Surrey FA and Sands means a new Sands United FC team will be launched in Guildford. This will be the latest addition to the growing network of Sands United teams that are rolling out across the UK.
I had previously become aware of the work of Sands United FC as part of a 2020 BBC documentary which highlighted the work of the charity and its teams to support those suffering from loss and bereavement.
The documentary struck a chord with myself and my wife through our experiences of multiple miscarriages during the early stages of pregnancy, and whilst directly supported by Sands at the time, I felt compelled to support similar initiatives locally.
We reached out to Sands United to begin the process of creating a network of local teams across Surrey. We hope that men and their families will come forward to be part of the first team in Surrey and replicate the great success seen elsewhere across the country.
- Ashley Gumbrell, Education and Workforce Manager at Surrey FA
Surrey FA and Sands are now recruiting a volunteer team manager to help run Sands United FC Guildford The team manager will receive advice and support in getting set up and recruiting team members from Surrey FA and will have the full support of the charity Sands in helping local bereaved men cope with their loss.
We’re delighted to be working with Sands to create a Sands United FC in Guildford. It is really important that together with Sands, we raise awareness of this issue as well as provide a place where men who have been through this tragic experience can come together through their love of football.
We encourage as many men as possible in the Guildford and nearby areas to join Sands United FC. We look forward to seeing this new partnership develops to supports dads and families across the County.
- Sally Lockyear, Surrey FA, CEO
Growing Sands United across the UK is part of Sands’ vision of a world where fewer babies die and when a baby does die, anyone affected receives the best possible care and support for as long as it's needed.
We’re delighted that Surrey FA has given their support to getting Sands United FC Guildford onto the pitch. Sadly, the death of a baby is not rare. Every day in the UK around 14 babies die before, during, or soon after birth so support like this is vital to local parents and families.
When a baby dies the feelings of loneliness and isolation can be overwhelming and having other bereaved parents to talk to is vital, but dads can sometimes be overlooked or struggle to find ways of getting the support that suits them.
Sands is here for anyone affected by the death of a baby, through our free helpline, online forum, and network of local support groups, and Sands United FC is a vital part of our bereavement support services.
- Clea Harmer, Chief Executive, Sands