East Kent Sands Support

Losing a baby, at whatever age, or stage of pregnancy is something none of us ever think about, but sadly it affects 15 families every single day.  Here at East Kent Sands - and indeed across the whole Sands family - we are there to give you whatever support you need, on dealing with the death of your baby, on some of the practical considerations, how best to keep your special memories and how to plan for the future, perhaps with further pregnancies.  Most of our volunteers have personally suffered from the loss of a baby so we are in a particularly good place to empathise with you and to give you that support. 

We can help by talking on the phone or face to face, or by text or email - whatever suits you best.

Sands, stillbirth, charity, neonatal death, helpline, telephone, support, bereavement

We have our monthly support meetings at Ashford and Margate from 7.45 to 9.15 and everyone is welcome to just come along.  PLEASE NOTE, THESE SUPPORT GROUPS HAVE HAD TO BE CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIUS PANDEMIC, BUT WILL BE RESTORED AS SOON AS IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. We know how hard it can be walking into a room so, if you would prefer, call us first so we can look out for you. There is no cost for the meetings and all adult family members are welcome, as are friends to support you, although we are not able to have children there.  Dates for our support meetings in 2018 are below.

The contact numbers for all support are as follows: 

  • for people in the Thanet, Canterbury and Dover areas, please contact us on 07888 967 463, 
  • for people in the Ashford, Swale or Shepway areas, please contact us on 07547 195 791

Or by email using our contact us link, or at eastkentsands@gmail.com

Support Groups for anyone affected by the death of a baby.

We currently have two support groups, in Ashford and Margate, each meeting on a Wednesday from 7.45pm to 9.15pm.    The Margate Group meets on the second Wednesday each month, while the Ashford Group meets on the third Wednesday each  month.

Margate Support Group 

Held at St John's Church and Community Centre, Victoria Road, Margate CT9 1LN.  Free parking on site.

Click here for further information on the Margate Support Group 

Ashford Support Group

Held at the Ashford Volunteer Centre, Berwick House, 8 Elwick Road, TN23 1PF, near the junction with Bank Street and almost opposite the new cinema complex. There is free parking on site.

Click here for further information on the Ashford Support Group

Sands also provides lovely Memory Boxes for all those little precious things and photos and this should have been offered to you by the midwives at the time of your loss.  The boxes provided at the time of the loss will contain a range of items including a blanket, two teddy bears (one to go with baby and one to keep) as well as small pouch for tiny hair or nail clippings etc.  If you were not given one, or if some time later you would like one - even if it is several years later - please let us know and we can provide one, free of charge. 

All parents should also be offered one of our Sands Information Packs containing a complete set of Sands leaflets together with a card from us introducing ourselves and offering support.  If you were not given one of these packs, again please let us know and we can get one to you, free of charge. 

Other local Sands support

Other Sands groups provide similar support services in their particular areas.  Details are on their individual web sites and Facebook pages:and Medway Sands, Tunbridge Wells Sands, and Hastings and East Sussex Sands provide similar services to East Kent Sands.  Links to their web sites are as follows:

Here is a link to some of the main maternity unit phone numbers.

There is also the Sands national helpline Freephone: 0808 164 3332 or Email: helpline@sands.org.uk

The Helpline is usually open Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 5.30pm and Tuesday and Thursday evenings: 6pm – 10pm. The Sands Helpline is free to call from any UK mobile or landline.  Hours are sometimes extended at particular times of the year or following media or television soap stories.