Stillbirth support group’s fundraising ball

The East Sussex Sands team held a cake sale to raise money SUS-160209-164751001
The East Sussex Sands team held a cake sale to raise money SUS-160209-164751001

A support group for bereaved parents is holding a fundraising ball to refurbish the maternity bereavement suite at the Conquest Hospital in October.

The East Sussex Sands team will be merging an international event, the Wave of Light Ball, with a party at Azur in the Marina Pavilion on October 15.

Dawne and Ian Braine's family at the cemetery together celebrating George's birthday SUS-160209-164724001

Dawne and Ian Braine's family at the cemetery together celebrating George's birthday SUS-160209-164724001

The ball will see families across the globe light a candle at 7pm in memory of children who are not in their arms to mark the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week.

Founder Dawne Braine said: “There are still tickets available to the event and as well as a lovely opportunity to join this international event.

“We can promise an evening of delicious food and local photographer Rebecca Long will be on hand to help create lasting memories of the evening.

“We are also holding an auction and raffle for some amazing prizes, including tickets to top London theatres and music venues, meals at a wide range of local pubs and restaurants, a weekend break at the beautiful Sherbarn Holiday Park and many more besides.”

The group was set up by Hastings couple Dawne and Ian Braine after their son George died after being born prematurely in May, 2011, and found there were no support groups in the area.

After an appeal to expand the team in February, the group found fellow bereaved parents Jayne Gibbins and Suz Brooks to form a committee and have been able to support more than a dozen families.

“Thousands of babies tragically die each year,” Dawne said.

“In 2014, around 5,600 babies were stillborn or died soon after birth in the UK, shattering the lives of expectant parents, their families and their friends and the people who have cared for them.

“Now there is somewhere for local families to turn for support. We have two trained befrienders who can offer support as well as monthly meetings.”

The group has been busy fundraising this summer, especially during Sands Awareness Month in June by holding a stand in Asda and Sainsbury’s.

A group of 20 children walked from Hastings Pier to the Motor Boat and Yacht Club in Rock-a-Nore raising £500 for the charity.

If you would like to know more about the group or the ball, email hastingseastsussexsands@gmail.com.

Help needed to set up Hastings stillbirth support group

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