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.

Annual Ugly Shoes Walk


7th June

Starts at 12:30pm

York Hotel

Portstewart

We will meet at the York Hotel Portstewart from 12-30pm and the walk will set off at 1pm following the usual route from Portstewart along the coastal path to the West Strand Portrush where balloons will be released in memory of the walkers babies.

We invite all walkers, young and old to "customise" their shoes to look as strange or ugly as possible.

This is NOT a fundraising walk simply an opportunity to meet  and chat with other parents while walking at your own pace.

If you cannot make it to the walk but would like a balloon released in memory of your baby please email deboreah.mccahon@btinternet.com with your baby's name BEFORE 4pm on Thursday 4th June.

The inspiration for the "Ugly Shoes Walk" comes from the poem below by an unknown author which talks of how other people look at us in our grief and see only the "coping" person we pretend to be.

While our "shoes" may hurt us they also give us strength we never knew we had.

Kirsty from Coleraine Sands was so inspired by this poem that 3 years ago she organised the very first SandsNI Ugly Shoes Walk.

Why not come for a stroll along one of the most breathtaking coastal paths on the north cost and chat with other parents about the "Ugly shoes" they walk in every day.

"AN UGLY PAIR OF SHOES"

I AM WEARING A PAIR OF SHOES.
THEY ARE UGLY SHOES.
UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES.
I HATE MY SHOES.
EACH DAY I WEAR THEM, AND EACH DAY I WISH I HAD ANOTHER PAIR.
SOME DAYS MY SHOES HURT SO BAD THAT I DO NOT THINK I CAN TAKE ANOTHER STEP.
YET, I CONTINUE TO WEAR THEM.
I GET FUNNY LOOKS WEARING THESE SHOES.
THEY ARE LOOKS OF SYMPATHY.
I CAN TELL IN OTHERS EYES THAT THEY ARE GLAD THEY ARE MY SHOES AND NOT THEIRS.
THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT MY SHOES.
TO LEARN HOW AWFUL MY SHOES ARE MIGHT MAKE THEM UNCOMFORTABLE.
TO TRULY UNDERSTAND THESE SHOES YOU MUST WALK IN THEM.
BUT, ONCE YOU PUT THEM ON, YOU CAN NEVER TAKE THEM OFF.
I NOW REALIZE THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO WEARS THESE SHOES.
THERE ARE MANY PAIRS IN THE WORLD.
SOME WOMEN ARE LIKE ME AND ACHE DAILY AS THEY TRY AND WALK IN THEM.
SOME HAVE LEARNED HOW TO WALK IN THEM SO THEY DON'T HURT QUITE AS MUCH.
SOME HAVE WORN THE SHOES SO LONG THAT DAYS WILL GO BY
BEFORE THEY THINK OF HOW MUCH THEY HURT.
NO WOMAN DESERVES TO WEAR THESE SHOES.
YET, BECAUSE OF THE SHOES I AM A STRONGER WOMAN.
THESE SHOES HAVE GIVEN ME THE STRENGTH TO FACE ANYTHING.
THEY HAVE MADE ME WHO I AM.
I WILL FOREVER WALK IN THE SHOES OF A WOMAN WHO HAS LOST A CHILD.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN