On Sunday June 8, local charity Horsham and District Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity) held a very special event in recognition of Sands Awareness Month.
Horsham and District Sands are a completely self-funded charity and are run voluntarily by bereaved parents to support others who sadly also experience the loss of their much wanted baby before, during or shortly after birth.
Across the UK alone, 11 babies are stillborn and six new born babies die each DAY, that’s 6000 baby deaths a year.
The local group of the national charity SANDS run support groups once a month at the Royal Salvation Army Hall in Horsham and is hosted by trained befrienders and co-chairs Ruth Summerfield and Lee Cavalli-Turner. This allows parents to come together, share their experiences and just be around others who completely understand the journey which they have found themselves on.
Along with the monthly support groups, the group continuously fundraise, liaise with East Surrey hospital Maternity Units and arrange fun and touching events throughout the year. Some of the events previously have included a balloon release, fashion shows, jumble sales, 1st year anniversary dinner dance and Christmas memorial services.
This year in recognition of June being SANDS awareness month, Horsham and District Sands held a touching butterfly release at Rowfant House, Crawley.
The event was attended by over 60 parents and members of their families and the sun shone as they all took a moment, as a poem was read, to reflect on the memories of their babies before releasing the butterflies into the wild. (See pictures.)
Rowfant House very kindly donated a room in their spectacular house for the charity to use along with refreshments for all afterwards.
All who attended were touched by the beauty of the day and the way in which they were able to spend time rembering their precious babies who are always loved, never forgotten.
Horsham and District Sands are continuously seeking ways in which to reach out to those in the community who have been affected by baby loss and ensure that awareness is raised in order to fundraise, research and reduce the shocking statistics which the UK currently holds.
If you have been affected by the loss of a baby and wish to find out more about Horsham and District Sands, the support and events that they provide, please visit www.horshamanddistrictsands.org or facebook.
You can also follow them on twitter @HorshamSands
Report and pictures contributed by Horsham and District Sands.