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A woman who loses her husband is called a widow.
A man who loses his wife is called a widower.
A child who loses its parents is called an orphan.
There is no word to describe a parent who loses a child, for there is no word to describe the pain."

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How can we help?

Surrey Sands is here to help when your baby has died either during your pregnancy, around the time of birth or within the first few weeks of life. Whether you are a mother or a father, family or friends, Surrey Sands can help you come to terms with what has happened.


Without doubt any baby changes the lives of those around it. However, for those whose babies never drew breath or only lived a short time, things are never the same again.


The death of a baby is the loss of a family member and therefore the loss of future plans and dreams. At Surrey Sands we know how precious and irreplaceable each baby is and how they will always remain an important part of the lives of all those who love them. See our shared experiences page.

Epsom babies garden




When a baby dies, parents often feel isolated believing that although friends and family are sympathetic nobody truly understands what they are going through. At Surrey Sands we do understand as we have all been there too. We also understand from listening and supporting others that everyone's experience of bereavement is unique. Parents often tell us how much our empathic support has helped them to appreciate they are not alone in feeling as they do, and that hearing about other's experiences has helped them to make sense of and cope with their own loss.


At different times you may want different kinds of support, and it will be different for everyone. Perhaps you will want to talk to someone else whose baby has died, or find out about practical things that need to be done. You may want to meet other bereaved parents in a small group or you may not want to do anything straight away. We are here to help when you feel the time is right, and will still be here a year on when you will not have forgotten the anniversary although everyone else seems to. We also provide support for parents whose babies died many years ago.


We cannot heal your broken heart but we can help soothe the pain. Through our support services we aim to help you slowly move on and build a new life, without ever forgetting your precious child.

What services do Surrey Sands offer?

Telephone support

The Surrey Sands Helpline is 07817 410075. This is manned by a trained befriender via a 48 hour voicemail service. Please leave your name and contact number we will always return your call as soon as possible.


Once registered you will receive an introductory letter outlining our services listing additional support literature which is available on request through your Befriender or by emailing surrey.Sands@btinternet.com You will also receive the current newsletter that is produced twice yearly.


A range of free leaflets and booklets are available, these will be posted to you along with the newsletter upon registration as a member and are of particular value in the difficult and confusing period immediately after bereavement. A further range of literature and videos are available through National Sands.  


Befrienders are people whose baby has also died, so they know what you are going through which is why they are able to give comfort and support. Surrey Sands befrienders are men and women who have been trained by National Sands to offer support via befriending, however they are not trained counsellors. Their time is offered entirely on a voluntary basis, and for most in addition to full or part time employment.

Befrienders are non judgemental and will offer one to one support without prejudice. Support is offered via phone, email or text. Whether you are newly or long ago bereaved they are willing to offer support as led by you, and for as long as you require. Some people just want one conversation whilst others build a long term relationship with their befriender as they cross the many hurdles to building a new life. There is no charge for this service.Contact the Surrey Sands helpline (07817 410075) to be put in touch with a befriender near you.


We are now able to offer a trained Grandparent Befriender to specifically support the Grandparents of a baby who has passed away.  Please contact the helpline in the first instance.

Befriender training

If you would like to train as a Befriender to support Surrey Sands members then please read the information on the National Sands website in the first instance following the tabs on the left side of the page. Then, please contact the Chair to discuss your training options prior to submitting your form.

Sands groups

You can visit any of our support groups to meet other bereaved parents once you are a registered member of Surrey Sands. These groups are hosted by Befrienders across Surrey. Parents may attend at any point after their bereavement to share experiences and gain mutual support. Some groups are for parents only and others are child friendly suitable for taking siblings along to.  Mums who are pregnant again may attend any of the sessions, or our ad-hoc pregnant again groups, but we respectfully ask you to advise the host if you are attending a group so that we can inform others accordingly. There is no charge to attend groups. Contact the helpline for information and see the events page for dates and venues.


In addition to the Babies Memorial Services at the hospitals there are events across the year that we provide:

  • June (Sands Awareness Month)

  • October (Babyloss Awareness Week ending with the Wave of Light)

  • December - Snowflake Service


Snowflake Service - Our annual Christmas service, a time for us to meet and remember our much loved babies. The service is open to all faiths or none.


Wave of Light - 15 October - taking part in the global Wave of Light to mark the end of Babyloss Awareness Week.



Snowdrop walk

Christmas service

Wave of light


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Surrey Sands membership

Membership is free however as a self funded group within the National Charity we politely request an annual donation to help cover the newsletter production costs and venue charges for holding support groups.  You must be a registered member to access our support services so please contact the helpline 07817 410075 in the first instance.


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