This month the stillbirth and neonatal charity Sands is working to increase awareness of the devastating impact of losing a baby with their #15babiesaday campaign. It’s a subject – and charity – close to my heart.
Two and a half years ago our little girl, Poppy, was born sleeping at 24 weeks. I can still barely believe it happened to us, let alone comprehend the heart-shattering statistics that surround baby death. 15 babies die every day in the UK – one roughly every 90 minutes – before, during or shortly after birth. That’s 450 babies this month. 450 families whose lives will be changed forever and who have to navigate the grief, shame and silence surrounding their tragedy.
Sands believes more needs to be done – not only to reduce the number of deaths – but to remove the taboo surrounding this shattering subject. In my experience, added to the already unbearable pain, is the distance and loneliness you can feel when no one knows how to talk to you about your loss or acknowledge your grief.
In March I ran my first ever half marathon for Sands. I fundraised through Just Giving which was not only an incredible incentive for running the race, but allowed me to openly acknowledge my experience to a wider circle of people – something I found incredibly healing. Doing so made me realise that talking about it helped other people talk about it to me.
Since then, I’ve promised myself – and Poppy – that I’ll never stop talking about this subject. I hope Sands initiative will help others to do that too.
3 ways to support Sands Awareness Month
Throughout June Sands are raising awareness and money by encouraging more people to share their stories using the hashtag #15babiesaday or fundraising with their #90minutechallenge.
1. take the #90minutechallenge
Take the number 15 and turn it into something positive. Download Sands 15 themed fundraising ideas, set up a JustGiving page and contribute towards their £15,000 target.
2. text your donation
You can donate to Sands #15babiesaday by texting BABY15 followed by the amount you wish to donate, to 70070.
3. request a Sands Donation Box
Save 50p a day for the month of June – that’s £15 for the month. Order a Sands collection box from firstname.lastname@example.org