Welcome to the better late than never 2nd edition of our newsletter.  We have had a very busy few months and our group is going from strength to strength.

Donations and Fundraising

Dumfries Pipe Band Marathon

In April we had the Dumfries Police Pipe Band marathon.  This was an exhausting, but most enjoyable day, which raised the fantastic amount of £1000.01.  Members of the group travelled by bus along with the Pipe Band and visited 8 towns and villages in the region.  The band played for about 15 minutes in each while we rattled the collection tins.  Thanks must go to the Pipe Band, Dunlops for sponsoring the event, McCalls for supplying the transport and Tesco for providing refreshments.







Glasgow 10K Run

In May Alison and a group of friends took part in the Glasgow 10k and raised a fantastic £1001.28.  Well done girls.











Dumfries Run for Health

We were delighted when we heard that the Rotary had chosen our group as one of the charities to benefit from the money raised at the Dumfries Run for Health which was held in June.  Andrea and Dee from the group took part and both put in very respectable times.  Well done girls.  This event raised an impressive £2298.33









Marks and Spencers ‘live window’ event

Another boost to our funds came when Marks and Spencer in Dumfries announced that we were their charity of the year.  Staff from the store aimed to raise £1500 in 100 days.  Staff and customers took part in various fundraising events, the main one being a ‘live window’ event which was held on the 13th August.  Valerie and Susan along with Valerie’s friend Debbie also did some bag packing that day.  The total raised by the store surpassed their expectations and came to a fantastic £3500.







Dumfries Running Club 3 mile Fun Run/Walk

Dumfries Sports Club and Dumfries Running Club organised a 3 mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday 2nd October.  A total of 77 adults and children took part and raised a wonderful £432.85.











Criffel Climb

Group member, Alanna Copeland climbed Criffel, along with a friend on Saturday 2nd October and raised £152 in memory of her little boy Luke.









Other Donations

Charles Kerr very kindly asked family and friends to donate to Sands on his 50th birthday and raised the wonderful sum of £600.

June and Mike Rogerson celebrated their Ruby wedding in August and kindly donated £360 to Dumfries Sands in memory of their baby Michael who sadly died in 1972.

Emily Kennedy, Phyllis Halliday and Louise Barr all ran the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Half Marathon for Sands in September. They raised £400.

Sarah and Colin Brown donated £1050 which was raised at the funeral of their baby Iris.

Troqueer Residents Association donated £400

Susan Goldie donated £500 in memory of her baby Shona.

Janice Thorburn and Friends £145 raised during a Ladies night at Burns Centre

Moniaive playgroup kindly donated £100

New Abbey Surgery donated £127.80 after a sponsored slim

£117.90 from Midwives at Cresswell which was raised in lieu of sending Christmas cards

Dawn Philip kindly donated £50.

Alison Rogerson took part in a Kilomathon and raised a wonderful £120


The bench is now in place at St Michaels Cemetery and looks absolutely beautiful.  Thank you Alan.  We have also arranged for a sculpture of the sleeping baby to be made placed near the bench.  Ian Rogers is in the process of doing the sculpture and it should be in place soon.





Cold Cot

Thanks to all our fundraising efforts we have been able to purchase the cold cot for Cresswell.  Doreen Black made and very kindly donated the beautiful insert and quilt for the cold cot.  Doreen also made the new cover for the Moses basket that we donated earlier in the year.









Angel Pockets

Alison’s mum has knitted and donated some beautiful Angel pockets (clothes for very premature babies).  These have been handed over to Cresswell











Network Day

On Saturday 15th May, Susan, Dee and Lesley travelled to Dunfermline to attend the Scottish Network Day. The day was a big success and along with hearing from some interesting speakers the girls had a chance to meet and chat with members from other groups.  Each group was allocated a table to display anything they were proud of and our group had a great display of photos from all our fundraising events.  One thing that attracted everyone’s attention on the day was the memory boxes, with the ones made up by Ayrshire Sands being greatly admired.

Sands AGM & Members’ Conference September 25th 2010

Alison and David attended the National AGM and Members’ Conference and Alison has prepared the following report.

I was fortunate enough to attend the annual conference in Cardiff this year.  It was a really informative and of course emotional day. Steve Hale and Shirley Gittoes welcomed us to the Millennium Stadium. Steve went on to say that Sands has had an unprecedented year. Media coverage has been vast and Sands has reached its first £1 million in fundraising this year. This has allowed the funding of a number of research projects.

Sands has also managed to turn the Nice guideline decision around on seeing and holding your baby. They have amended the guideline to now say parents should be given the choice.

The forum is up and running again after a break due to problems. The helpline has been extended. There are now over 100 groups in the UK. The publishing of the Bereavement care report this year has hopefully improved care across all Health Care Trusts.

Members Conference

Charlotte Bevan from Sands research team and author of saving babies lives report, wants to burst the myth bubble that stillbirth is “just one of those things”.

Neonatal care has improved- mortality rate has fallen by 20 % in 8years. Mortality rates in twin births are improving, but stillbirth rates have not changed in 10 years. One in two hundred births are stillborn, half of which are unexplained.

Charlotte went on to talk about a number of research projects Sands are funding, including Obstetric Cholestasis, a rare liver complaint in pregnant women leading to the sudden death of their baby.  The study is being done through Oxford University at a cost of £15 000 over 3 years.

Dr. Alex Heazell a Consultant Obstetrician and bereaved father then went into more depth about various research projects he is involved in through Sands. He believes there should be a national care pathway created for all bereaved parents. He is currently carrying out a parent’s survey on care following a stillbirth. Care is variable and there few guidelines available to Midwives. Only 20% of parents saw a specialist bereavement midwife. Midwives were shown to have the biggest impact on parent’s decisions.

UK research currently is poor, only 5% of midwifery schools are doing research. Alex believes there are 3 main areas for research- prevention, intervention and care following stillbirth.

Sue Hale- Group Services Manager from Sands then gave an update. Sue is currently working on a new Group Handbook which will be sent to all groups and is full of advice about how to run a group successfully.

Regional co-ordinators role in Northern Ireland. The pilot has been extended until January 2011 when hopefully the review is positive and therefore rolled out to other regions within the UK.

Bristol Sands then gave a presentation on how they have taken over from previous members and have changed one or two areas including venue, introduced a subsequent pregnancy ante natal class run by the hospital with Sands writing the guideline. They have also introduced support coffee mornings. The group now work closely with the hospital and are developing a practical training programme for staff including post mortem, breaking bad news and aftercare.

Personal Experience- We then had a very brave young lady- Siobhan Hughes tell the story of her beautiful daughter who died full term in 2009 and of the excellent aftercare they received particularly from one mortuary assistant who went above and beyond the call of duty to ease Siobhan’s pain.

Judith Schott from the improving care team gave an update. The key issues have been challenging the Nice guideline on seeing and holding your baby. The development of a bereavement care network for practioners. There is an online forum accessible through the Royal College of Midwives website.

The development of a new benefits leaflet which should be part of the checklist for bereavement care given out by staff.

Marion Currie gave an update on all things fundraising. 4 766 miles have been run/ walked to raise moneys this year. Marion spoke of the advantages of using the justgiving site. No money has to pass through hands, and no chasing people to pay up after the event. Through justgiving £500 000 has been raised so far this year. She then went on to show how much fun you can have fundraising with a slideshow of various feats achieved all in the name of Sands.


On 16th September Sands along with The Royal College of Midwives and the Charity Bliss held a joint one-day conference in London.  Our group sponsored Alison Rogerson who is the midwife on our committee to attend the conference.  Alison is writing a report on the day and it will be posted on our website.

Memory Boxes

After seeing the beautiful memory boxes on display at the Network Day it was decided that we would use some of our funds to make up memory boxes to donate to Cresswell.

The Dumfries knitting group have very kindly knitted and donated 24 blankets to include in the boxes.  Thanks also go to Opulence who donated the small teddies and to Alternative and Koko in Dumfries for the crystals and bath melts.







Meeting Room

We are delighted announce that we now have our own office/meeting room in the town centre.  Our address is Anderson Chambers, 34 Great King Street, Dumfries.  The room will be used to hold our monthly support meetings, committee meetings and is also an ideal place to meet with bereaved parents for the first time.  The meeting room is obviously quite a substantial financial commitment so we will need to keep up the good work with regards to fundraising.








Our AGM was held on Wednesday 8th September and some new committee members were voted in.  Welcome to Dee McFegan who is now Secretary and to Alison Rogerson, Midwife and Andrea McDonald.  Nicola Meechan has decided to step down as a committee member, we would like to say a big thank you to Nicola for the support and work she has put into the committee over the years.


We now have our very own website which we are very proud of.  We can be found at www.dg-sands.org.  Our thanks go to Derek Pennycook of Dumfries Web Design, who developed the website, for all his hard work and continued support.  I’m sure you will agree he has done a fantastic job

Christmas Service

The Christmas Service will once again be held at the Crichton Church and has been arranged for Wednesday 15th December at 7.00pm.

New Arrival

Many congratulations go to Scott and Alanna on the birth of Kyle Scott Samuel Guthrie who was born on the 15 June 2010.  A beautiful brother for Mya and the late Luke.

So all in all as you can see we have had a very busy and successful year with regards to fundraising.  We hope that this will continue so that we can continue to support bereaved parents.

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 DGWGO.com - Dumfries and Galloway News