Archive for July 2011

Kind Donation from Jacqui and Ivor Matheson

Jacqui and Ivor Matheson gave a kind donation to Dumfries and Galloway SANDS in memory of their beloved niece Clare Robinson.  Clare was stillborn at full term on 28/5/88.


Ivor recently celebrated his 60th birthday for which he received a terramundi.  On smashing the terramundi he discovered there was almost £200 in it.  He decided to kindly donate this money to two charities, Dumfries and Galloway SANDS and Polio in Africa.


This money will be used to continue to sensitively support families living in this area who have gone through the tragedy of the death of a baby.  Thank you to Ivor and Jacqui.

Balloon Release at Mabie Forest near Dumfries


June was SANDS awareness month so around Britain families were taking part in activities to raise the profile of this worthwhile charity.  Families from Dumfries and Galloway SANDS visited Mabie Forest on Sunday 3rd July to release balloons to commemorate their babies.  Each family arrived with barbecue equipment, food and games.  Leaving the Dads to man the barbecues, the group took a walk round some of Mabie Forest, finishing in the clearing.


Everyone present had the opportunity to write a message to their very much loved and remembered baby and attach it to their chosen balloon.  Balloons were also released for babies whose families were unable to attend.  The balloons were released together and everyone watched the balloons float gradually to the clouds.  The group then returned to the barbecue site where lunch was enjoyed followed by a friendly, yet competitive game of rounders in the summer sun.

Alison Hall: Volunteer of the Year Award

At a recent glittering awards ceremony our very own Alison Hall picked up the Volunteer of the Year Award.  NHS Dumfries and Galloway held the Celebrating Excellence Awards at the Easterbrook Hall on 27th May to recognise dedication, enthusiasm and commitment within the NHS.  There were 11 categories and many people were nominated for making a positive difference.


Alison is the Chairperson of Dumfries and Galloway Sands and works closely with Cresswell to support parents whose baby has died.


Dumfries and Galloway Sands was established in 2007 after Alison pinpointed a need for a support group within this region.  Alison worked tirelessly to get the group up and running through National Sands and has undertaken their befriender and advanced befriender training.  She communicates with other Sands groups throughout Scotland.  She has organised many fundraising events and was instrumental in securing our meeting room as a private place to hold our monthly meetings.


Alison is also involved in a Scottish Stillbirth Sub Group which consists of representatives from Scottish Government, NHS departments, researchers and SANDS.  The group aims to identify priority areas for action.

She continues her efforts to take Dumfries and Galloway Sands from strength to strength.  She is passionate about Sands and strongly believes that bereaved parents deserve the best possible care.


We are all so proud of Alison.  If it wasn’t for all her hard work, ideas and effort, Dumfries and Galloway Sands simply wouldn’t exist.

Next Support Meeting

The next support group meeting is planned for

  • 7th November: 7.30pm

and we welcome anyone touched by the death of a baby to join us.

The meeting will be held at our office at 107 Irish Street Dumfries.

Many people feel that only others who have experienced the death of a baby can offer real understanding of the pain and heartbreak that they are feeling and the support group meetings allow you to connect with other bereaved parents, grandparents and others who share your pain and loss.

The support group is an informal setting and is only attended by people who themselves have lost a baby or their families. You will not be pressured to speak and sometimes it’s nice just to simply come along and listen.

If anyone would like more information about these meetings or would like to express an interest in attending then please email [email protected]

Updated by - Dumfries and Galloway News