Sands is a volunteering organisation, and we wouldn’t exist without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, who carry out a number of vital roles to progress the aims of the charity.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your regional Network Coordinator, who will talk you through the roles and the commitment involved, help you find the right one for you, and put you in touch with your local Group.


We are always looking to setup new Groups in areas of the UK where we don't have a local support Group. If you are interested in setting up a new Group please see below:

Start a new Sands Group

We are very grateful that you are interested in starting a new Sands Group.  Before you get started, please be aware that a year or more must have elapsed since your baby died and you will need to:

What’s involved with starting a new Sands Group

  • Starting a new Sands Group can feel a daunting process, and we aim to provide support for you along the way. To find out more please contact our Groups & Training Coordinator:
  • Your first step would be to read all about setting up a Sands Group – our Groups & Training Coordinator can send you more information on this.
  • Have a chat with our Groups & Training Coordinator once you are sure there are no Sands Groups nearby and you are sure that you want to go ahead.
  • Find others to help you set up a Group and arrange to meet.
  • At least one person needs to train to be a Sands Befriender.
  • There are various other steps to starting a Sands Group, which we can discuss. It is realistic for it to take at least 6 months to reach a point where you are ready to hold your Group’s first support meeting.
  • All new Sands groups receive two days of New Groups Training; Part One before your group has started, and Part Two a year later. Your local Sands Network Coordinator will stay in touch with you on a regular basis to advise you on setting up and running your group.


North West

Sheryl McMahon

07845 310 628

North East

Ashleigh Johnson

07514 741 349


Sarah Finnigan

07833 491 603


Rose Abrehart

07707 480 020

South West

Jo Anderson

07845 310 617

South East

Emma Kedge

07514 759 787


Maria Huant

07879 076 948


Devolved Nations


Chris Somerville

07565 157 492


Heatherjane Coombs

07709 602 635

Northern Ireland

Steven Guy

028 3839 2509


The roles we need to fill (depending on location) include:

Befriender – trained volunteer peer support role

Hospital Liaison – helping to build and maintain our links to healthcare professionals, promoting Sands Bereavement Care Training

Fundraiser – working with other volunteers to run local or national fundraising events

Treasurer – bookkeeping and financial reporting at local level