As Sport Relief fever takes hold, TV presenter and radio DJ Edith Bowman went to see how Sport Relief cash, raised by the public, is making a difference in Scotland.
The much-loved personality visited the Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society Lothians (SANDS) in Edinburgh to meet some inspirational mothers. The project is funded by money raised through Sport Relief and is making a crucial difference to many people’s lives.
Parents who lose a baby through stillbirth, neonatal death, cot death or miscarriage often need support to deal with their tragic loss. SANDS is an amazing project which brings bereaved parents together so they can share their experiences with people who truly understand what they’re going through. This can help them to cope with their grief and the trauma they’ve faced.
Mum of one Edith got to meet Nicola, 37 from Linlithgow. Nicola’s baby son Theo was born with a very rare condition, Exomphalos, in 2009. Whilst a lot of babies survive this condition, Theo’s experience was very unique and complicated. Sadly, Theo only survived for three weeks.
Nicola explains: “You think there is lots of support, but sadly I didn’t find that. “The only comfort you get comes from other bereaved parents. I have such a close family and friends and their support has been unbelievable but yet it’s not the same – no-one knew how I was feeling.”
SANDS, which has received a grant thanks to money raised by the public for Sport Relief, provides the support needed for bereaved parents to help them to re-build their lives.
Edith also got to meet Helen, 42, from Sighthill. Helen enjoyed a healthy pregnancy and her son Nathan was born weighing 8lb4oz. But there were complications at birth and Nathan was starved of oxygen causing him to survive for just one day. Helen was traumatised by the experience and her family didn’t know what to do to help her so they contacted SANDS.
Helen said: “You put a face on for your family, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. In the support groups you can be open and honest knowing you won’t be judged.
“SANDS takes the rawness away, makes you feel normal. My life would not have been the same without SANDS.”
Edith added: "The strength all the women here share is amazing. They don't realise how brave they are."
"What stands out to me is the time-line. It doesn't matter how long ago it happened to a parent, five days ago or 50 years ago, the support here is unconditional."
Money raised through Sport Relief is helping vulnerable people throughout the UK as well as across the world’s poorest countries when they need it the most.
To back the campaign, the nation is being encouraged to enter the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile and help even more people living unbelievably tough lives at home and overseas.