Winter 2018

All Mothers Matter
Sands and Charlee's Basket working together to better support bereaved parents
Seeking grandparents' experiences of support for research study
Community Fundraising Spotlight: The Longest Rally in Support of Sands
Meet Catherine Gregory - Local Support Group Facilitator
Upcoming Events
Interested in fundraising for Sands?

 

 International Bereaved Mothers Day6 May 1All Mothers Matter
As Mothers' Day approaches three Sands mothers - Ashleigh, Heidi and Anne - discuss what it means to be a mother at this significant, but often emotionally challenging, time of year. Read more.

 

 

 

CB 2Sands and Charlee's Basket working together to better support bereaved parents
Sands is excited to announce a new development with Charlee's Basket that will improve the level of bereavement care parents receive in hospitals across Australia. Read more.  

 

 

 

Grandparents research study

Seeking grandparents' experiences of support for research study
The University of Adelaide are currently recruiting participants to take part in a research study on grandparents' experiences of support following pregnancy loss. Do you know someone who'd like to be involved? Read more.

 

   

Lynton and Cara EditedCommunity Fundraising Spotlight: The Longest Rally in Support of Sands

We're constantly inspired by what our community fundraisers, like Lynton and Cara Joseph, can achieve with planning, passion and a whole lot of love. Read more.

 

 

Catherine Gregory.jpgMeet Catherine Gregory - Local Support Group Facilitator

After an absence of over 15 years in New South Wales, in late 2017 Sands began to re-establish a presence in the state in response to a growing need for bereavement support services.

With 465 stillbirths, 196 newborn deaths and an estimated 32,000 miscarriages occurring each year, NSW has the highest number of perinatal deaths of any state or territory in Australia – more than the ACT, NT, TAS, SA & WA put together.

As a result of the time, energy and hard work of a small group of passionate volunteers, Sands now operates three face-to-face support groups in the state – in Rozelle, Lalor Park and in Kariong on the central coast.

Parents who’ve experienced the death of a baby can attend Sands local support groups confident in the knowledge that they offer a safe, inclusive and non-judgemental space in which to meet others who are walking a similar road.

Volunteer parent supporters Catherine Gregory, Louise Gavidi and Danielle Jenkins co-facilitate our Rozelle group in the inner-west of Sydney.

“We hope that by attending our group bereaved parents will be able to find support, understanding and perhaps, hope for the future,” Catherine explains.

On the last Wednesday of each month the facilitators endeavour to create a friendly, informal and welcoming space for parents at the Hannaford Community Centre.

“There’s always someone there to greet you at the door, offer you a cup of tea or coffee, and generally help put you at ease,” says Catherine.

Having a lived experience of pregnancy or infant loss themselves means the group facilitators understand that for many parents wishing to attend, walking into a room of strangers at such a painful and vulnerable time is not an easy thought.

“I vividly remember sitting in the car outside the first Sands meeting I attended not even knowing myself if I had the courage to go in, but I’m really glad I did,” she said.

“Twenty one years on I’m still in contact with some of the girls I met all that time ago.”

Attending the Rozelle support group is therefore not a formal or intimidating affair.

“We don’t expect anything of you when you come along. The group can be anything you want it to be. At the end of the day it’s just a safe space to tell your story or simply to listen to others and draw strength from their experience.”

“You can go away from the evening knowing that someone else is feeling like you’re feeling. Feeling heard and understood for the first time can be such a powerful thing,” Catherine continues.

Being able to listen, honour and respect the experiences of other bereaved parents is something Catherine herself finds immensely rewarding about her role.

“Providing parents with the time and space to reflect and to remember their baby is so important. It can be hard to see the world continue to turn when your life has fallen apart. We open the door, if only for a couple of hours, to allow your baby the space to exist.”

Volunteering with Sands also provides Catherine with a special opportunity to remember her own two daughters who were stillborn – Molly in 1997 and Poppy in 1998.

“To be able to use the sadness of our own experience as a positive way of doing some good for others? I’m glad I’m able to do that as others once did for me.”

“I really encourage parents to come along and join us.”

The next support meeting held in Rozelle will take place on Wednesday 30 May. For further information on attending please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find out more about Sands’ local support groups across Australia.

 

Upcoming Events
Sun 6 May
Sands VIC Annual Memorial Service (Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details)
Sands QLD Bereaved Mothers' Day Afternoon Tea (New Farm)
Sands SA Bereaved Mothers' Day Afternoon Tea (Adelaide)

Interested in fundraising for Sands?
Participate in one of following events and select Sands as your chosen charity!
27 May - HBF Run for a Reason (WA)
30 Jun-1 Jul - Gold Coast Marathon (QLD)
29 Jul - Run Melbourne (VIC)
12 Aug - City to Surf (NSW)