By Eszter Pontone
Hull and East Yorkshire Sands was founded in 1993 and is here to provide support to anyone affected by the loss of a baby.
Our trained befrienders, who are all also bereaved parents, work closely with each other to offer support to all bereaved families and their friends in the local area and run a support meeting once a month.
Our group also works closely with Hull Women & Children’s Hospital to ensure that care offered to bereaved parents is constantly reviewed and adjusted as necessary.
We campaigned for the role of a bereavement midwife for 18 months, which the local Trust accepted and the role was created in February 2017 with a second bereavement midwife recently appointed.
This was a huge turning point in being able to provide consistent and focused care to bereaved families.
Hull and East Yorkshire Sands also fund up to four RCM (Royal College of Midwives) approved bereavement care training programmes to midwives and other medical professionals locally, which we take an active role in the delivery of.
We also provide similar, tailored training to local health visitors, doulas and final year midwifery students.
We firmly believe that until baby loss can be significantly reduced in its numbers, this is the best way we can make a difference – by improving the care families receive at such a devastating time.
We also therefore fund places at the annual Sands conference, which provides information on the latest best practices in bereavement care as well as delivering tailored workshops.
This year, we funded nine places at this conference, sending both midwives and consultants from Hull Women & Children’s Hospital.
Locally, we also continually try and raise the profile and awareness of baby loss and provide families with events, such as memorial services, where they can take time to reflect and remember their babies in a peaceful environment.
By raising awareness we are breaking the silence surrounding baby loss and enabling parents to talk about their babies and others to try and understand how they can help those who have experienced a loss.
We also maintain the bereavement suite on the Labour Ward at the hospital and are currently looking at trying to create a “Reflection Garden” within the grounds, which will enable families to think about their babies in a quiet, suitable surrounding.
We support anyone who has experienced baby loss, whether recently or long ago bereaved and have traced ashes and graves of babies for parents.
For contact details of Hull Sands, click here