The sharing of hurt is the beginning of healing

Ayrshire Sands was formed in 1988 when it was realised that there was very little support for bereaved families in Ayrshire.

Support meetings were started and originally held in member's homes, as more and more families looked for support, Ayrshire Sands approached Ayrshire Central Hospital (ACH) looking for a regular place to hold meetings. A relationship between Ayrshire Sands and ACH started to form and a time and place was agreed. A regular newsletter started to be sent to all members.

The Sands Family Room was opened giving a place for parents to be with their baby away from the normal wards. Health professional's attitudes started to change.

The Book of remembrance was started in 1990, and Ayrshire Sands was asked to join the Maternity Provisions group, a group that looked at all aspects of how families are treated and cared for by professionals. Around the same time we were asked to start giving talks to trainee midwifes.

A bi-annual memorial service was started giving families a chance to meet and listen to other bereaved members telling their experiences.

In 1997 we opened our office in ACH giving us a central place for the committee members to meet, information and equipment to be kept, and a contact address and telephone number for bereaved families and health care professionals. New leaflets were drawn up with information for parents

By 2001 the support meeting held in December was extremely busy and had become a time to remember our babies with hymns and baubles being hung on a Christmas tree, more of a service than a meeting. It was decided that the memorial service would be combined with this Bauble Service and the first one held in 2002 was very moving.

In 2002 Ayrshire and Arran Health Authority formed a new committee to address all issues surrounding Post Mortem's and Ayrshire Sands was invited onto that committee. The website was lunch in May 2002 with details of events, information about our services, and giving bereaved families another point of contact.

June 2005 saw Ayrshire Sands along with Glasgow Sands arrange the first Balloon Release in George Square in Glasgow, one balloon for each baby lost in Scotland in 2004, this is now an annual event.

During August 2006 we moved to the new Ayrshire Maternity Unit at University Hospital (Crosshouse) with a new office and a well-equipped Family room. This gave the opportunity to revise our leaflets and refresh the website with the new address, telephone number and the new Sands Logo.

Our relationship with the Doctors and Midwifes remains very strong, we still sit on a number of committees including those mentioned above and talks are still given on a regular basis to trainees as well as fully qualified staff.

Everyone involved with Ayrshire Sands is a bereaved parent or grandparent and understands how it feels to loose a baby and offering support to bereaved families is still our aim.