“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.”Jay Neugeboren

We are here to 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.

We understand

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.

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.

Read members’ shared experiences
Read members’ shared experiences

What services do Surrey Sands offer?

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. Below are just some of the services we provide.

Telephone helpline

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.


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.


Members receive an introductory letter outlining our services. Sands provide a range of booklets which are available to read online or order for free. You will also receive the current newsletter that is produced twice yearly.


Throughout the year we run events. These include the Wave of Light, Snowflake Service and summer picnic. Read more on our events page.

Support Groups

Members run three support groups across the county, a safe place to give and receive support to other bereaved parents. We also have private online support groups.


We have a range of books and other materials that you can borrow that may help you on your journey. View our list of resources

Our support, including our support meetings, are open to everyone affected by the death of a baby. If you would like to know more about the support available, please get in touch.

07817 410075

There is no charge for accessing any of our support services. We rely completely on donations to carry out this important work.
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.

Whether you are newly or long ago bereaved, our befrienders are willing to offer support as led by you, and for as long as you require.
We support all bereaved parents and have a Dad befriender to provide support.
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.