"I have been a befriender since July 2017. I have previously run monthly support groups but now I am responsible for all 1-2-1 support for Brighton and Worthing which is usually by telephone and email but is also available face to face. I also support SANDS training in hospitals to share with healthcare professionals what services we can offer to families and how we can support them. To become a befriender, I underwent the SANDS official befriender training course - two days over two weekends. The most rewarding part of befriending is supporting people through their journey after the loss of their baby. It's such an emotional time for families and knowing that you are making a difference to someone/ their family, even it's just listening, is incredibly rewarding.
One-to-one support is based entirely on what, how and when the person requesting support is looking for. It is totally flexible and because all befrienders are also people who have lost a baby, the support will be from someone who can relate to what someone is going through. It often creates a particular connection and understanding between befriender and befriendee that can difficult to find within normal support circles such as family and friends."
Brighton artist helps to raise funds for Sands
Brighton artist Lyn Rohde teamed up with Kemptown resteranteurs Simon and Emily Ashley to help raise funds for Brighton & Worthing Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society (Sands).
The Rock Street restaurant, Busby & Wild, hosted an exhibition of Lyn's paintings, many of which are Brighton-themed, raising more than £120 for the charity through proceeds raised.
"We are delighted wth this generous donation from Lyn, with the help of Simon and Emily," said Michelle Simpson, chairperson of Brighton & Worthing Sands. "The funds will enable us to continue to provide much needed support to anyone who has been affected by the loss of a baby - more than 100 babies die every week in the UK."
Volunteer Befrienders Needed
Brighton, Eastbourne & Worthing Sands is a small group which relies heavily on the dedication of its valued volunteers to provide the level of services that parents and their families need when they experience the death of their baby. We are part of a national Charity, Sands (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society. We provide support in the Brighton & Hove, Worthing and Easbourne areas.
The effort and the availability of our volunteer befrienders varies. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as we are only a very small group covering a large area. Our befrienders have lost babies in the past and will receive full training in order to listen and talk with bereaved parents and families by phone, email or face to face. They may also run or assist at support group meetings once a month at locations in Hove and Worthing, where bereaved parents can share their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Sands Awareness Month
June is Sands awareness month, during which the national charity raises awareness of the stillbirth and neonatal death and break the silence around this unique kind of bereavement. Find out more about the work of Sands and its Why? campaign, which calls for more to be done to reduce the unnaceptable levels of stillbirth in this country.
If you're a bereaved parent living in Brighton & Hove or Worthing you can speak to one of our trained befrienders, either face to face, on the phone or by email.
All our befrienders are trained volunteers who have lost a baby. Find out more about the support we offer.