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.  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 being built. 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. 



Organisations offering Support

Alongside Sands, a great many organisations support people affected by the death of a baby, some offering support only in very specific situations, others providing more general support. Some are very local while others operate across the whole country and here is an alphabetical list of some of those organisations.  Further information and contact details for most of these are also at https://babyloss-awareness.org/charities/ 

Over time we will add to this list and if you are a support organisation that would like to be included, please let us know.  


Remembering your Baby

Every baby death is very personal and different people have their own ways of remembering their precious baby.   The following organisations provide a range of items and services which may be of interest to you.  These are listed alphabetically.  Apart from our national Sands shop, we are not in a position to make recommendations on these items or services.  Over time we hope to add additional contacts.

The National Sands shop has a range of merchandise 

  • 'Angel of Mine'  'Personalised gifts including key rings etc for the angels in our lives'.   http://www.angelofminejewellery.co.uk/
  • 'Abigail's Footsteps' is based in Medway.  What started out as a grieving couple’s desire to help others has now become a powerful, influential and actionable charity that is making a demonstrable difference to people’s lives. http://www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk/
  • 'Alexandra's Angel Gifts' specialise in creating and sharing idea's of memorial gifts for anyone effected by the loss of a precious baby. They sell a range of memorial items including memory boxes, figurines, jewellery, grave ornaments, albums and personalised items. http://alexandrasangelgifts.co.uk
  • 'Ashes Into Glass' are based near Billericay in Essex. They are able to make beautiful glass pendants, rings and paperweights incorporating loved ones ashes. It is possible to visit and watch the whole process.  http://ashesintoglass.co.uk
  • 'Carlisa Crafts' specialises in handmade and personalised unique cards, grave cards and gifts for families effected by the loss of a baby, child or loved one. Each of the items is specially designed for each individual's needs, allowing freedom for unusual names and anything personal that would make a chosen item unique to you.  http://www.50352.mrsite.com/
  • 'Cherished Gowns' is based in Dover and provides families of babies that are stillborn, miscarried or pass away shortly after birth with clothing for the baby. All of the items we provide are made by volunteers from donated wedding dresses. http://cherishedgowns.org.uk
  • 'Face to Face Photo Engraving' are able to engrave photos onto a wide range of jewellery and accessories including cufflinks, keyrings, and ashes containers.  http://f2fphotoengraving.co.uk
  • 'Remember My Babyis a UK based registered charity who have professional photographers volunteering their photography services for the benefit of UK parents losing their baby before, during or shortly after birth.   www.remembermybaby.org.uk
  • 'Sew and Soaps' offer a wide selection of different fabric items which can be personalised with embroidery. These include teddy bears, cushions and framed keepsakes. This is not a website designed especially for bereaved parents, but they can make items to individual requirements. http://sewandsoaps.co.uk  
  • Wendy Kemp Jewellery'  Wendy was inspired to support Sands after friends lost their baby boy.  http://wendykempjewellery.co.uk