The Board of Sands Limited proposes to join forces with Red Nose, creating a single organisation that will deliver high quality bereavement care and work towards preventing pregnancy, infant and child loss.

Both organisations have long and proud histories of more than 40 years supporting bereaved parents – Red Nose through offering counselling services and Sands through peer support.  Red Nose is also well known for creating one of Australia’s most successful public health program – “Back to Sleep”, which has so far resulted in an 85 per cent reduction in SIDS in Australia.

The synergies between our two organisations mean that together we can both move closer to achieving the vision held by our organisations - that all bereaved parents feel supported and that the rates of pregnancy, infant and child loss are reduced.

Joining forces will offer bereaved parents a greater choice of supports and options to honour their babies without the need to establish relationships across multiple organisations.  We know that at present there is a significant proportion of bereaved parents that seek peer support though Sands and also use counselling services through Red Nose.  We also know that many bereaved families try to find meaning in their loss through fundraising to reduce stillbirth rates.  Joining forces with Red Nose allows us to offer these options and more to bereaved families.

It will also ensure that the voice of bereaved parents is heard in research, in advocacy and in-service development.  We can ensure that investment is made in to best practice bereavement care as well as into reducing rates of pregnancy, infant and child loss and that both take in to account the lived experience of those who have come before.

This opportunity will ensure that the stigma and isolation associated with pregnancy, infant and child loss is addressed as the broader community understand how to support the bereaved. Red Nose have a strong footprint in the general community that we can leverage to ensure that people can talk about and respond to the unthinkable.

It will expand our service reach – supporting more bereaved parents across Australia. Joining Red Nose provides us with the platform to expand Sands in to NSW and the ACT in a sustainable way as all peer support bereavement services will be branded Sands under this arrangement.

We will be able to use the existing relationships held with health professionals across both organisations to enhance our education and training regarding best practice bereavement care. Red Nose will benefit from additional Sands relationships to ensure that Safe Sleeping is widely understood.

Overall, joining together will further develop and strengthen our community; the heavy lifting currently being done by some volunteers will be shared with others.

We will have the capacity to win new work and to attract philanthropic and fundraising dollars.  Whilst this should not be the most important driver behind our decision, attracting fundraising dollars will allow us to further develop the services we can offer. As a $10M organisation we are in a good position to grasp the opportunities in the current environment and mitigate the risks we currently hold.

We will be able to ensure that Sands peer support services are available to bereaved families for the future.

 A Joint Entity

Joining the two organisation requires compromise and respect.  The Sands Board have had a singular focus during the negotiations to lead to the below details, and that has been on ensuring that we achieve our organisational vision, that there is a long-term future for peer support bereavement care across Australia.  We remain committed to ensuring that no bereaved parent feels isolated and alone following pregnancy and infant loss. 

Red Nose is a brand that is well known and trusted in the community.  There is strong awareness that they are associated with “saving babies”.   Sands is a lesser known brand in the general public, but it is well known with midwives and bereaved families.

With this in mind, Red Nose will be the lead brand, but all peer support bereavement services will be branded Sands.  We expect that health professional education will be cobranded to take advantage of the reputations of both organisations.

It is also important to know that we expect our day to day operations to remain largely unchanged.  We will still have local state groups focussed on the local community, we will still have volunteers on our phone lines and in our meetings ensuring that bereaved parents have a compassionate and understanding ear.

We believe that the below represents fair terms for a joining of our organisations in a manner that is cost effective and will deliver on the Sands vision.

A message from our Chair - Rachel Green

Chair Rachel Green and CEO Jackie Mead answer some questions

A Fact sheet about Red Nose & Sands