Skip to content

In 2013 in the UK, one in every 137 babies was either stillborn or died in the first 4 weeks of life

Here in N. Ireland, over 3 babies a week are stillborn or die in the first 4 weeks of life.

We support all bereaved parents who have lost their babies, before, during or shortly after birth.


We always have parents, family and friends taking part in the various running/walking distances of the Belfast Marathon raising money in memory of their own or a family member or friend’s baby.

Some marathon fundraisers contact us to let us know but others quietly take part and send us a cheque when all the money is collected in. The Marathon can be a lonely place, especially if you’re struggling with sore feet, aches and cramps etc. Please contact us to request a clean white Sands T-shirt to wear on the day so that other “Sands” entrants can identify you and you can cheer each other on. One relay team taking part this year is running for Ella Rose to raise funds to provide a cuddle cot to the RJMH. We hope their story inspires you.

In October 2013 our whole world was turned upside down when we learned that our unborn baby girl was very ill at her 20 week scan. We were given the devastating news that no parent ever wants to hear, "If she makes it to full term she will not take one breath and may live for only a few moments".

We struggled through a further 15 weeks holding onto hope and praying for a miracle. At 35 weeks our precious Ella Rose decided it was time to meet us and she was born in the Royal Maternity Hospital in Belfast at 4.56pm on 23rd January 2013. She was absolutely perfect and weighed 6pounds.  The first thing that she did was grab her daddy's little finger.  She cried and she yawned and gave us such pleasure in the short time she spend with us and her big sister Molly.  After 5hours she grew her Angel wings.

We had such a fabulous support from both the hospital staff and Sands NI. We got to bathe our daughter, make foot and hand prints, cut a curl from her beautiful hair and kiss and cuddle her. We spent two nights with her at the hospital and on the third night we took her home in preparation for a beautiful home service the following day before saying our final goodbyes.

The time spend with her was so utterly precious and without the use of the Cuddle Cot this would not have been possible. These cuddle cots are few and far between and we would love to provide the hospital with a new cot to help other bereaved families to come to terms with their huge loss.

My amazing husband and four other family members have been kind enough to agree to run as a relay team for the Belfast marathon on May 4th to raise money for a cuddle cot. We would urge anyone to give as much or as little as you can to this cause.  Please spread the word and help us to raise as much money as we can

Our just giving page is:

Kindest Regards,

Ciara Marner.