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.

Sands' 40th anniversary

2018 marks 40 years since Sands was founded. To recognise this, we're honouring the achievements of everyone who has worked with us, including volunteers, befrienders, fundraisers and healthcare professionals, to support bereaved parents and reduce the baby death rate in the UK.

Founded by bereaved parents in 1978

40 years ago, two bereaved mothers, Bel Mooney and Hazelanne Lewis, found there was no support available for them following the deaths of their babies. Realising there were many bereaved parents across the UK left similarly devastated and without support, they founded Sands in 1978.

At that time in the UK, most parents were not allowed to see, hold or bury their babies. No photographs were taken, and they could not put their baby’s name on the stillbirth certificate.

The national stillbirth and neonatal death charity

Since then, Sands has grown into a national charity that supports anyone affected by the death of a baby. Over time we have expanded the work we do to include working with healthcare professionals to improve the care parents receive when a baby dies. More recently we have developed a research fund to help us to better understand the causes of stillbirth and neonatal deaths and to reduce the baby death rate in the UK.

Sadly, despite our many accomplishments over the years, more work needs to be done to reduce the number of babies dying, now and in the years to come. Find out more about our commitment to reduce the baby death rate in the UK and ensure every single person affected has access to the care they need, when they need it.

The anniversary also acknowledges Sands continuous efforts to be the voice of bereaved parents, the charity’s impact on the lives of many bereaved parents, improvements in bereavement care and funding vital research.