At WeDO Scotland, Corporate Social Responsibility is important to us and our Executive Team selects charities we work with and support. For 4 years, we supported Aberlour, Scotland’s Childrens Charity and during that time, thanks to the generosity of our members, friends and supporters, we raised in excess of £33,000 on their behalf. In 2016, we decided it was time to offer our support to another charity and after a unanimous vote by our Executive Team, we selected SANDS Lothians who work throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians providing a hugely worthwhile service supporting bereaved parents.
We are delighted to be working with the SANDS team and are very excited that as well as fundraising at our Annual Awards Dinner in October this year, we are also organising an It’s A Knockout event which is taking place on Sunday the 27th of August. A fantastic, fun-filled, family friendly day, we are excited to be bringing this legendary event to Edinburgh. You can click HERE to find out more about it … and hopefully enter a team!
SANDS Lothians offers support, understanding and help, both of a practical and emotional nature to bereaved parents who have experienced the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or soon after birth. They are there to offer support for as long as required.
SANDS Lothians is the only charity in Edinburgh specialising in baby bereavement counselling and can offer free counselling with clients often being seen within a few weeks from first contact.
Their counsellors offer support to help bereaved parents through the distress experienced following the death of a baby. Counselling helps support parents by helping them cope with their grief and to understand their feelings. This is a confidential service governed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and follows the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. They also offer Art Therapy within their Edinburgh office
SANDS Lothians recognises that the loss of a baby is a traumatic and unique loss. It can be an extremely lonely time and many struggle to find others who understand the confusing feelings and overwhelming emotions experienced. Befrienders are bereaved parents who have voluntarily completed a SANDS UK training course and are qualified to support another bereaved parent. They will be at least two years bereaved themselves and feel they are in a place to listen to another bereaved parent and be there for them. Befrienders are available to chat to on the phone, email, message via Facebook or meet up in person.
SANDS Lothians hold monthly meetings both in Edinburgh and West Lothian. These meetings are open to anyone whether newly bereaved or longer ago. Parents arewelcome to come along with a partner or friend and they are open to anyone looking to meet others who might understand regardless of gestation of loss. They give bereaved parents the opportunity to speak with others in a similar situation who can share feelings and emotions. There is never any pressure for parents to discuss their personal loss.
A next pregnancy after a loss can be a stressful and worrying time and much reassurance and support is needed. SANDS Lothians recognises that the needs of these parents are different to someone who has just lost a baby and they hold a separate monthly meeting at their Craiglockhart & Craigsfarm premises to support these women. They provide support and reassurance to those considering another pregnancy or those already pregnant following the death of a baby. They have 2 midwives who attend our meetings to offer help & support plus one of their fully trained Befrienders.
The death of a twin baby is very difficult for parents. It is mixed emotions – grieving for one baby yet celebrating the birth of their surviving twin. As time goes by the surviving twin can feel alone and needs some support too.
SANDS Lothians are involved in many training and education sessions within the 3 hospitals they support and local Universities. They are involved in teaching sessions with 4th year medical students at Edinburgh University. This is an extremely valuable insight into the experience of perinatal death for the medical students. At these sessions they ask a bereaved parent to tell their story during which the students find very informative and are always very moved by the parents’ experiences.
They offer student midwives placements with SANDS Lothians as part of their training. This can prove beneficial as it allows students to gain experience in supporting bereaved parents and their families after they have experienced the death of their baby. They have many visits from Adult Nursing Students whilst on placement to gain an overview of the services they provide.
Our Chief Executive is also one of SANDS UK Bereavement Care Trainers in Scotland and can provide training to midwives and multi agency groups. SANDS Lothians try to fund their local hospital training events.
SANDS Lothians work closely with staff at St John’s, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Borders General Hospital. Their aim is to support the midwives and staff via training and regular meetings so they can give the bereaved families the best support they can at the worst of times. They have helped equip the family rooms with items they may need including TV, bedding, blankets, cosmetic items and anything that would give some comfort and assist the family at this sad time. Many local people knit for SANDS Lothians so the families can dress their precious baby in some beautiful knitted items and keep a blanket that their wee one was placed in. They were proud to fundraise for a cold cot at St John’s which means that a family may have the chance to keep their baby with them in the room for longer periods of time. They also supply printers, memory cards and photograph albums to the hospitals.
If you would like to make a donation to SANDS Lothians to help them to continue giving befriending and counselling to help support bereaved parents throughout the Lothians, please click on the Donate button above which links directly to the SANDS JustGiving page.
You can click HERE to watch an STV news piece about SANDS Lothians.
You can visit the SANDS Lothians website by clicking HERE, call them on 0131 622 6263 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
SANDS Lothians Registered charity number SC024375