Dumfries and Galloway Sands Newsletter

November 2011


Welcome to the third edition of our newsletter.  It has been another busy year.

Grand Fundraising Ball

Our Grand Fundraising Ball held at the Easterbrook Hall on 23rd September was a phenomenal success with the amazing sum of £11800 raised.  The ball was completely sold out with 340 tickets sold through word of mouth alone.  The evening began in silence (apart from many quiet sobs) with a slideshow explaining the valuable work of Sands.  The mood was lightened by Local radio DJ Tommy Jardine who acted as auctioneer for the evening.  Everyone then danced the night away to Not Guilty.  Thanks to all who attended or who donated prizes and especially to those who helped with organising the night.





NHS Award

Our very own Chairperson Alison Hall picked up the Volunteer of the Year award in the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Celebrating Excellence Awards.  The award is given for dedication, enthusiasm and commitment within the NHS in recognition of Alison’s hard work for Dumfries and Galloway Sands.  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.

Congratulations Alison!











Sands Awareness Month

This year for Sands Awareness month we enjoyed a family walk with a balloon release in Mabie forest.  We each had the opportunity to write a message to our beloved babies before releasing them and watching them float skyward.  Afterwards there was a hearty barbecue followed by fun and games.












Donations and fundraising

Local Mum Shona Dalton and her daughter Chloe along with friends and family organised a barndance in memory of her son Cairn who was stillborn last November.  The barndance was sold out, with 300 tickets sold, and raised the fantastic amount of £6388.26.  Well done and thank you Shona!


Thanks to the generosity of the Procurator Fiscal’s office we were able to purchase a digital camera, printer, photographic paper and memory cards for Cresswell Maternity Unit.  They raised £500 by organising a quiz night. 

Our very own Alison Rogerson raised £120.50 by taking part in a kilomathon.

Dumfries running club raised £46 by charging £2 to anyone who did not beat their own training time during a practise run at Mabie.

Tracy and Mark generously donated £50 in memory of their precious son.

Annandale Young Farmers raised the amazing sum of £850 by organising a raffle at their annual show.

Ivor and Jacqui Matheson donated £100 from a terramundi received on the occasion of his 60th birthday.  This money was donated in memory of their niece Clare.

 Angie raised £160 by holding a candle party in memory of her son Brad who would have been 10 this year.

Dumfries Quaker Group kindly donated £100.

Local midwives made a donation instead of exchanging Christmas cards.


Research Fund

We have decided to donate £10000 to the SANDS research fund.  This includes the money donated by Shona Dalton.


Our children drew pictures in memory of their precious brother or sister and these have been collated into a calendar for 2012.  These sold well at the ball and are still available to buy from any of our members or from Koko.

Memory boxes

We began donating memory boxes to Cresswell Maternity Unit late last year.  These boxes are a place where parents can store treasured mementoes of their babies.  The local knitting group Click Talk very kindly knitted blankets to go in each memory box.  The feedback from midwives has been positive and the memory boxes include our contact details in case parents feel the need to get in touch.


We have commissioned local artist, Lynda Burns to create a sculpture to place on top of a wall especially created by local builder Sammy, near the baby memorial at St Michael’s cemetery.  We look forward to seeing the sculpture in place in the near future.

Rainbow Room

We aim to use some of the proceeds of the Grand Fundraising Ball to refurbish the family room at Cresswell.  We aim to make it a tranquil, peaceful room where family can spend precious time with their baby, and hope to rename it “The Rainbow Room

Bereavement Training 

We would also like to use some of the Ball money to fund bereavement training for a specialist midwife to lead on bereavement care for parents.  We are currently in talks with Cresswell about this.  We will also provide one day of training, for many at Cresswell, related to the ‘Guidelines for Professionals’.

Scottish Network

We donated £500 to the Scottish Network to assist new groups starting out.

Scottish Network Day

Alison and Susan travelled up to Aberdeen for this year’s Scottish Network Day where they listened to some emotional personal experiences.  There was also a short presentation from Neal Long , Chief Executive on the work of National Sands.  A talk from a midwife was followed by a representative from the Child Bereavement Charity speaking about meeting sibling’s needs.  There was also a chance to hear from a fertility specialist midwife. Sue Hale gave an interesting talk on the future of SANDS in Scotland and particularly the creation of the new post of Scottish Co-ordinator.


Alison attended the national Sands AGM in Liverpool in October. The theme of the day was creating memories and we enjoyed a variety of presentations on the subject. We had a very emotional presentation for Andrew Malm father of Rudy, talking us through his bereavement journey since Rudy’s death last year.  Rachel Hayden, a bereaved mum with an interest in photography explained the importance of creating photographic memories when your baby dies. There are workshops available for those who want to learn more about it.

The AGM is always a great opportunity for networking and hearing about all the great work of other Sands groups. Next year’s meeting is to be hosted by Fife Sands.


Birthday Cards

Anyone wishing to receive a card in recognition of their babies’ birthday each year, please send your name and address, along with your babies name and date of birth to the website or to our meeting room.

Christmas Service

This year the Christmas Service will take place at the Crichton Church on Friday 16th December at 7.30pm.  We invite you to come along and join with others in remembering your baby at this special time of year.  You will be invited to light a candle and place a special message to your baby on the beautiful Christmas tree.  

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]

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