We are here to support any person affected by the death of a baby. We offer one-to-one befriending, telephone support and advice as well as regular group support meetings.

We work with people in Bedfordshire and surrounding areas and all of our services are provided free of charge by local volunteers - Beds SANDS receives no funding other than by donation.

Our Lastest News

We are very pleased to have sent out our latest newsletter below is the written element, if you would like a copy of the full version with pictures then just drop us a line and we can email one to you.

Bedfordshire Sands
          Newsletter July 2016

·        Bereavement Suite
·        Memorial Garden
·        Abseil for Logan
·        Summer Fair and Fundraiser
·        Baby Memory Day
·        Bingo Night
·        Meeting Dates

Bereavement suite
Your support of Bedfordshire Sands has helped to transform the dedicated bereavement suite at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.
The Sommeries Suite, which is used by parents facing the stillbirth of their baby, has been updated with new equipment, thanks to donations.

The space is specially equipped to provide a home-from-home environment, giving parents private time with their child after the birth.
Thanks to the generosity of parents, families and support groups, including Sands, the suite has a number of items which help to provide a calm and homely environment, as well as some pieces of specialist equipment.

These include a double sofabed, other “home” furnishings and a kitchen area to help create a more comfortable and less clinical environment for the family to spend time in following the birth.  There are also three Cuddle Cots – special refrigerated cots which cool the baby and enable parents and families to spend more time with the baby.
The room contains a range of books with information and personal stories about the loss of a child, designed to offer comfort and support to grieving families and siblings.

Chairman of the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Simon Linnett, met with parents, families and supporters of the bereavement suite recently to thank them for their donations and support.
Simon said: “The generous donations we have received have enabled us to transform the suite into a more homely and comforting environment. Unfortunately, some families will have a baby born sleeping, but this room will allow them the space and dignity to spend time with their child and say goodbye. We are enormously grateful to all our supporters who continue to make this possible.”

Memorial Garden Project

Some of you may be aware that we have spoken over the past 18 months about the possibility of developing a memorial area for Bedfordshire Sands, where bereaved parents and families can go to remember their babies.

Collectively, as a committee, we have agreed that this will be an invaluable resource and one which is much needed.
I recently attended the regional Sands network day, where I was fortunate enough to have spent some time with a number of ladies who were involved in the Derby memorial garden project and their excitement over the project and the ultimate provision was truly evident.

We are currently trying to find a location for the memorial area as this is the obvious starting point, so we would welcome any suggestions! Equally, if you know anybody who has any contacts or links at all then please do let us know.
We already have monies restricted towards the project and any future fundraising events will be engineered for the memorial garden.
We would also urge committee members to let us know if there is anything specific you would like to see or have in the garden.

Rachel Martindale, Chair.

Abseil event in memory of my son Logan Edwards

On 4th June 2016, 10 brave individuals abseiled 418ft down the Northampton Lift Tower to raise money for Bedfordshire Sands in memory of my son.
My son Logan was born by emergency C section on 13th October 2015 (my 29th birthday) but sadly he grew his wings just 1 hour 40 mins after he was born. His death was very unexpected and my husband and I were suddenly thrown into the unknown, experiencing all sorts of feelings and the ups & downs of coming to terms with the grief. It’s been a roller coaster journey. However we were very lucky to have use of the bereavement suite at Bedford Hospital so we could treasure time with our son. This is how I found out about Bedfordshire Sands and the day I left the hospital with empty arms was the day that I was determined to raise awareness of Sands and raise money.
Because of this, one of my close friends had the idea to do this abseil and asked if she could do it in memory of Logan, knowing how much it meant to me to raise money for Beds Sands. Of course I said yes and she set about organising the event. Between us we had 10 people sign up, including herself and my husband. I unfortunately was not able to sign up due to medical reasons but I was determined to help to raise as much money as possible. We set the target at £1,000 but by the day of the abseil we had already hit £1,500. The sponsors and donations have continued to flood in and we have made £4,000, which is amazing. It just goes to show what can be achieved with the help and support of others and by sharing my story, explaining why I wanted to raise money for Bedfordshire Sands in particular. It has made me smile knowing that this money will go a long way towards the next project of a Memorial Garden where parents can go for reflection to remember their babies. 

I’d like to say a massive thank you to my friend for setting the event up, to all those who abseiled, all the supporters and to everyone who sponsored or donated.

In memory of my son "Just when the caterpillar thought his world was over, he became a butterfly.”
Laura Edwards (Logan's Mum).

Dates for the Diary

The events below have not been organised by Bedfordshire Sands directly but are raising money for both national Sands and our group or are of relevance to members

Saturday 23rd July - 11am and 3pm
Summer Fair and Fundraiser   - Sundon Park Junior School in Luton, LU3 3JU
The event will include facepainting, stalls, games, a raffle, a snack wagon, a candy kart, an inflatable slide, a tots corner and music from a live band. All to raise money for Sands.
Saturday 23rd July
Baby Memory Day
There is a Baby Memory Day for parents who lost babies at the L&D on. Those affected should have received an invite but more information can be received from the chaplain by calling 01582 497370 or emailing chaplaincy@ldh.nhs.uk.

Saturday 17th September
Bingo Night
5pm to 9pm at St Peter’s Centre, Harefield Road, Luton, LU1 1TH.
There will be bingo, music, refreshments and a raffle, with a percentage of the ticket sales going to Sands.
The first 30 people to buy a ticket will receive a free cupcake.
There are 70 tickets available and they cost £5 per person. Tickets must be bought by 16th September.
To purchase tickets, payment can be made via Paypal to enquiries@kdweddingsandevents.co.uk Use your full name as a reference and contact the organiser once payment has been made.
For online bank transfer or to pay in cash, contact the organiser via Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/1558155707820475/
If any tickets remain before the event, they will be available on the door on a first come first served basis for £10 each.

Future support meetings

These are held in a meeting room at the Holiday Inn Express, Elstow. MK42 9BF. Elstow interchange A6/A421, Bedford.  They run from 7.30pm to 9pm.  
Befrienders at these meetings are Jane Charman and Claire Thompson, you are most welcome whether or not you have been before and regardless of how recent your loss.  The support meetings take place in a small meeting room in the hotel, we have tea and coffee and there are books and other resources that you can have a look at and borrow.  The meetings are a chance to be with other parents who have lost a baby, and all the befrienders and committee members who attend are also bereaved parents.  There is no pressure to say or do any more than you feel comfortable with, but many of us have found the chance to share our story and memories of our babies with others who can empathise a comforting and healing experience.

The date is usually the 3rd Monday in the month, up coming meeting are:
15th August,  19th September,  17th October,  21st November,  19th December  

National SANDS helpline: 02074365881
SANDS website: http://www.uk-sands.org/

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