West London Sands
- Is available to support anyone that has been affected by the death of a baby including members of the extended family such as grandparents.
- We provide support in other languages if we can.
- This is one-to-one phone contact from a trained volunteer Befriender, arranged at a time convenient to you. Befrienders are not counsellors but they have experienced the loss of a baby and can offer much needed support and empathy to bereaved parents (or to other family members such as grandparents.) They can also talk through with you practical issues such as funeral arrangements and post mortems. The support they offer may be just one phone call or may be contact over a longer period of time, depending on what is wanted.
- We hold monthly meetings – currently on Zoom – where bereaved parents can meet in a safe and confidential setting. There is no obligation to talk and you are welcome to come on your own or as a couple or with a friend or family member. A Befriender is always present at these meetings.
- At WLS we currently have five trained Sands Befrienders, both mothers and fathers; these are bereaved parents, unpaid volunteers, who have successfully completed the Sands Befriender Training. If you would like to speak to someone please contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07710010026 – we will contact you as soon as we can, usually within 2 or 3 days.
Children & Grief
For those who already have children, or nieces and nephews, explaining the death of a baby is very difficult. There are no steadfast rules, but please follow this link to a list of helpful points and a video which can be watched with children. The video is presented by Dr Ranj Singh, a Paediatrician and Children’s TV Presenter.
If you need more urgent help or advice:
National Sands helpline number: 0808 1643332 Monday to Friday 9.30 – 5.30; also Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6 – 10pm
For longer-term individual support you might consider professional counselling. Your hospital or GP are often very helpful in directing you. There are also a number of charities specialising in bereavement counselling including:
Child Bereavement UK: www.childbereavementuk.org
Petals Charity: www.petalscharity.org
Cruse Bereavement Care: www.cruse.org.uk
Compassionate Friends: www.tcf.org.uk/contact-us
To find a counsellor or psychotherapist dealing with Bereavement: