40 years of Sands

2018 marks 40 years since Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) 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.

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.;xNLx;;xNLx;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.;xNLx;;xNLx;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.;xNLx;;xNLx;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.;xNLx;;xNLx;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.

1978-04-01 00:00:00

Sands is founded

The beginning. After three years of meetings, discussion, consultations, letters and article writing, Hazelanne Lewis and Bel Mooney along with a small group of parents who had all lost babies form as association to support bereaved parents. This reveals an enormous unmet need and leads to local support groups being set up. Photo of two co-founders of Sands - HazelAnne Lewis and Bel Money with her son Daniel. Bel is pregnant with a baby who was stillborn three months later.

1979-04-01 00:00:00

The Stillbirth Association

Sands produced its first leaflet under ‘THE STILLBIRTH ASSOCIATION’ with an address 15A Christchurch Hill, London NW3 1JY.

1979-08-25 00:00:00

Booklet ‘The loss of your baby’

Booklet ‘The loss of your baby’ produced in August 1979 by The Health Education Council in conjunction with MIND and The National Stillbirth Study Group. This refers parents to the Stillbirth and Perinatal Death Association – again at 15A Christchurch Hill.

1980-04-01 00:00:00

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Sands opened

The first group in Newcastle-upon-Tyne was set up by Jeanne Nicholls, covering much of the north-east and into Berwick. As one of the first Sands groups there were no guidelines and together with a friend, also a bereaved parent, we learned together as we progressed. The meetings were held with other bereaved parents and soon after the group began to involve local health professionals. It was very much a hand-to-mouth existence, we had no funds and at the time fundraising for such a cause was not easy. The local Samaritans guided the group on how to listen effectively to callers. From that time onwards, Sands has demonstrated the value of users’ voices to raise awareness nationally of the need for and value of bereavement support, including innovative training for a multiplicity of relevant professional staff.

1981-04-01 00:00:00

Registered as a Charity

First as the Stillbirth and Perinatal Death Association (SPDA) to include babies dying in the first month of life

1981-04-01 00:00:00

Belfast Sands is set up

Belfast Sands held their support group meetings in Cregagh (Craig-aah) Road Library before moving to the Mount Oriel Centre on Saintfield Road. They now meet in the Malone Lodge Hotel, Eglantine Road, Belfast.

1982-04-01 00:00:00

Isle of Wight Sands opened

1983-01-01 00:00:00

The next leap forward - the media become interested

Esther Rantzen’s ‘The Lost Babies’ is shown on television. Tremendous public interest is reflected in the formation of many new groups and the nation network grows to over 100.

1983-04-01 00:00:00

Surrey Sands opened

Current Chair: Emma Kedge

1984-01-01 00:00:00

First staff member appointed

Avril Rodd – appointed as secretary in June 1984

40 years of Sands

Copy this timeline Login to copy this timeline 3d