Befriender profile - Ian
Hi, I'm Ian, a trained SANDS befriender and husband to Michelle the chair person for Brighton and Worthing SANDS.
15 years ago, we lost our daughter Abby Jane at 38 weeks. Sadly, she had stopped growing at 30 weeks. Abby was born sleeping on 17th June, the day before my birthday.
We were able to spend time with Abby at the hospital, although at that time we didn't know the significance of us being in the 'SANDS' suite.
After a short while we realised the benefit SANDS offers to people like us, and soon both got involved in the local Oxfordshire group, sometime later I trained as a befriender.
Being a male befriender, I am sorry to say that I have not had one father reach out for support in ten years :(
However, it was amazing when Rob Allen started the SANDS United football team, and more recently Andy Lindley setting up a Brighton and Hove team. Andy has introduced me to the teams at a couple of matches as the local befriender, which gave me the opportunity to explain the work of the group to the Mayor of Brighton at the inaugural match.
I remain available to any bereaved fathers, football supporters or not!
Our angels, always in our hearts...
Befriender profile - Elena
I have been a befriender since July 2017. I have previously run monthly support groups and now I am responsible for all 1:1 support for Brighton and Worthing which is usually by telephone and email and also available face to face.
I also support SANDS training in hospitals to share with healthcare professionals the 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 if it's just listening, is incredibly rewarding.
1:1 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 be difficult to find in normal support circles such as family and friends.
Are you thinking of holding a fundraising event for Brighton and Worthing Sands?
To make it easy for you we have a Charity Checkout fund raising page all set up and ready to go, all you need to do is follow the link below:
Thank you for supporting us, we receive very little government funding and rely entirely on funds raised by people like you ❤
Donate to Sands
Your donation will make a real difference and help save babies' lives.
Sands supports anyone affected by the death of a baby, works to improve bereavement care and promotes research to reduce the loss of babies' lives.
Donate today and make a huge difference to the lives of bereaved families in their darkest hours, giving them hope for the future.
Whether a one-off donation or a regular gift, your support is invaluable and we couldn't do it without you. Thank you so much ❤ ❤ ❤
Volunteer Befrienders Needed
Brighton & Worthing Sands is a small group that 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 and Worthing 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, online or face to face. They may also run or assist at support group meetings once a month, where bereaved parents can share their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
If you're a bereaved parent living in the Brighton and Worthing area 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.