Sands provides many support services for bereaved parents, families and friends.
These servies are provided free of charge.
• 24/7 Telephone support line 1300 0 SANDS (1300 072 637)
• Face-to-face support groups
• Older-loss group
• Memorial Services
• Quality information booklets about grief and bereavement
• Community events & Health promotion & Marketing campaigns
• Quarterly newsletters
• Library of publications/books for loan
Sands provides services for volunteers
• Volunteer support and training programs
For more information on volunteer services click here
Sands provides services for Health Professionals, Community Organisations and the wider community. Sands is recommended by a majority of maternity hospitals throughout Victoria. Many of these hospitals make referrals to us and have adopted the Sands model of care for bereaved parents.
• Hospital and health professiona In-service Training
• Funeral Service In-service Training
• Information booklets
• Seminars, conferences and networking opportunities
• Community events
For more information on our Victoria Health Professional & Business Network click here
24/7 Telephone support line 1300 0 SANDS (1300 072 637) (linked to list above)
Support is provided by trained parent supporters who themselves have experienced the death of a baby. Initial contact is via telephone support, and parents are able to talk with a supporter and share their thoughts and feelings, knowing that the supporter has also had a baby that has died. Telephone support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1300 072 637 (1300 0 SANDS).
Face-to-face support groups
Sands has monthly group support meetings in several metropolitan Melbourne locations, and in some country areas. The facilitators are parent supporters who have completed two levels of training. The meetings are a place to be among other parents who are at varying stages in their grief and to share your experience with others. A place to know you are not alone.
Victorian support groups are located in:
Camberwell (Older Loss)
Shepparton (as required)
Attendance is on an as-needed, casual basis. There is no compulsion to commit for the long-term, you can come and go as you need.
Older Loss group
Our Older Loss Group is for families whose loss was many years ago. This group was formed from the needs of parents who did not see or hold their baby, and many of whom did not know where their babies were buried. The Older Loss group, in most instances, have no photos, birth certificates or any other tangible memories of their babies. The Older loss group meets in Camberwell.
Once a year, Sands holds a very special ceremony called our Memorial Service. It is a quiet, gentle time to reflect on feelings and experiences. It can be healing and warming to see the faces of supportive people at this event, in a respectful space, with parents, friends and family members who share similar memories.
On arrival, we ask people to collect a memorial candle to light for the baby or babies they will be remembering and then join us in the main hall for a quiet guided memorial ceremony. Afternoon tea follows.
Sands in Victoria has offered this event for many years now, with many parents returning year after year. There are many friendships that were founded on sharing such occasions as the memorial service and these familiar faces are very willing to welcome parents for who may be attending for the first time.
This special day is always part of Sands Awareness Week.
Quality information booklets about grief and bereavement
There are many booklets that can be ordered for parents, dads, families, friends, grandparents, health professionals and more. Follow this link for Sands brochures.
For Hospitals and Health Professionals, Sands provides bulk literature orders. Please click here to download our requisition/order form.
For more information contact Sands.
Sands run events throughout the year. These are a great way to meet other bereaved parents, families and friends, to gain validation, support and share stories. It is also a way to bring joy into the experience of grief.
Events are either for strengthening and celebrating our community of Sands parents, families and friends, or for health promotion- raising awareness and encouraging action, or for marketing purposes- to raise our profile and to raise funds so that people know about, donate to and get involved with Sands.
Sands produces quarterly newsletters; Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring editions. These publications are for you to engage with our community and more deeply understand the way grief is widely understood and how it is felt and experienced by bereaved parents.
We welcome submissions of stories, poems and articles from parents and families and also from health professionals. We dedicate space in each edition for the memory of babies that are cherished but not cradled.
Library of publications/books for loan
Sands has a library of books on grief, and in particular grief and loss following the death of a baby. These are available for borrowing in person from the Sands office. A small refundable deposit is required at the time of the borrowing. For more click here