A brief history of Ayrshire Sands

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


  • Ayrshire Sands is formed and support meetings are started in member’s homes.

  • As more and more families looked for support, Ayrshire Sands approaches Ayrshire Central Hospital (ACH) looking for a regular place to hold these meetings. A relationship between Ayrshire Sands and ACH starts to form and a time and place is agreed.

  • A regular newsletter is started, to be sent to all members. 

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


  • The Book of remembrance is started, a place our babies details can be recorded with a poem and certificate.

  • We are asked and agree to join the Maternity Provision group, a group that looks at all aspects of how families are treated and cared for by professionals.

  • Around the same time we are asked and agree to start giving talks to train. 

  • The 1st Bi-annual Memorial Service is held giving families a chance to meet and listen to other bereaved members telling their experiences. 


  • Bi-annual Memorial Service


  • Bi-annual Memorial Service


  • April - The 1st National Awareness Week is launched

  • Bi-annual Memorial Service


  • We open 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 are drawn up with information for parents.

  • We hold a befriending training day

  • We receive a Lottery Grant

  • Sept – Car boot sale is held at the horseshoe, ACH


  • Oct – We hold a 10th Anniversary Dance


  • April - Now have 2 rooms, one as an office and one as a lounge

  • April - Awareness week

  • April – We hold a beetle Drive at the Rec Hall, ACH

  • May – Car Boot Sale at ACH

  • June - Sponsorship procedures are updated

  • July – Car Boot Sale at ACH

  • Oct – We hold our Memorial Service at ACH

  • Nov – Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • Dec – Christmas Dance 


  • The Short Life working group on retention of tissues/organs at post mortem formed by A&A health Authority with Ayrshire Sands invited onto committee and included at every meeting

  • Sept – Dance

  • Sept – Car Boot Sale


  • Jan – New post mortem consent forms issued

  • March - Consultant Pathologist Dr E R Nairn attends support meeting

  • April - Professor Jeanne E Bell, Dept. of Pathology, The University of Edinburgh attends support meeting and gives talk regarding her recently study into Birth Asphyxia

  • April - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • June - Awareness week

  • June - Midwife training day

  • June - Meeting regarding developing baby plot at Ayr Cemetery

  • June – Scottish Regional Day in Aberdeen

  • November - Midwife training day

  • Oct - Memorial Service, ACH

  • Dec - By this time the support meeting held in December was extremely busy and had become a time to remember our babies with a few hymns and baubles being hung on a Christmas tree, more of a service than a meeting. It was decided that we would therefore combine this and the bi-annual service.


  • Feb – Knadgerhill Cemetery baby plot improvements including paving over central area and adding benches

  • June - awareness week

  • June - Karaoke/Dance

  • June – Car boot sale

  • July - website launched

  • Dec – Our 1st Christmas Bauble Service was held at ACH and was very moving with many more families attending.


  • April - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • June - Awareness Week

  • Oct - National AGM – London


  • May - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • June - Awareness Week

  • June - Car Boot Sale, horseshoe ACH

  • June - Family/Dance Rec Hall ACH

  • Oct - National AGM –

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble service – Rec Hall, ACH


  • New National Sands networks formed (7 in total)

  • April - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • May - Car Boot Sale, Horseshoe, ACH

  • June - Talks to The Trainee Midwives in Paisley

  • June - Awareness Week

  • June - 1st Balloon Release – George Square, Glasgow

  • Oct - National AGM – Belfast

  • Oct - Talks to Registrars in Ayr

  • Oct - Babyloss Awareness Day

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble Service – Rec Hall, ACH


  • April - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • April - Get-together/dance

  • May - Car Boot Sale, ACH

  • June - Balloon Release, George Square, Glasgow

  • Aug - 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. 


  • April – is held in Perth

  • April - Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • June - Awareness week increased to whole month

  • June - Balloon Release, George Square, Glasgow

  • June - Car Boot Sale AMU carpark, Crosshouse

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble Service, Rec Hall, ACH


  • Feb - 2 Befriending training days Mat Unit, Crosshouse

  • May - 2nd Scottish Network Day, Ayrshire

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble Service, Rec Hall, ACH


  • Why17 Campaign launched

  • June – Balloon Release, 349 Balloons

  • June – Car Boot Sale

  • Dec – Christmas Bauble Service was moved to a new venue, St Nichols Church, Prestwick


  • Scottish Network Day, Aberdeen

  • June – Balloon Release

  • June – 1st Duck Race held in Eglington Park, Kilwinning

  • May - Mum & Toddler group started

  • One of our committee members became a Trustee of National Sands


  • Scottish Network day, Parkstone Hotel, Prestwick

  • June – Duck Race, Eglington Park, Kilwinning

  • We hosted a bereavement photography training day

  • August – Couples night in LA Bowl

  • Oct – Kids Hallowe’en party

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble Service, St Nichols Church, Prestwick

  • Dec – Kids Christmas party


  • Scottish Network day, Dumfries

  • Balloon Release

  • Duck race

  • Dec - Christmas Bauble Service, St Nichols Church, Prestwick

  • Dec – Kids Christmas party


  • We hosted a Befriending Training Day

  • Scottish Network day, Grangemouth

  • Balloon Release

  • Duck race

  • Sep – Some of our befrienders take part in the advanced befriender training


  • May – Ayrshire sands AGM

  • June – Duck race, Eglinton park, Kilwinning

  • June – Balloon release

  • July – Benches at Knadgerhill cemetery restored

  • Oct – Wave of Light

  • Dec -


  • March – benches at Ayr Baby Cemetery restored

  • March – Tesco, Ayr bag pack

  • April – Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • June - Scottish network day

  • June – Duck Race, Eglinton Park, Kilwinning

  • June – Balloon Release, Cathedral Square, Glasgow.

  • Oct – Volunteers paint fences at Knadgerhill Cemetery baby section

  • Oct – Wave of Light

  • Dec -


  • June – Balloon Release, George Square, Glasgow.

  • June – Duck Race, Eglinton Park, Kilwinning

  • Oct – Wave of Light

  • Dec -


  • April – Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • May – Scottish network day, Stirling

  • June – Last Balloon Release, George Square, Glasgow.  It was felt that after this one they should be stopped due to environmental issues. 

  • June – Duck Race, Eglinton Park, Kilwinning

  • Oct - We celebrated our 30th Anniversary with a Memorial Love Tree dedication service at University Hospital (Crosshouse)

  • Our website was once again updated along with a new web address

  • Oct – Babyloss awareness week including wave of light, lighting up building across the UK

  • Oct – Random acts of kindness, 192 heart slates and sweets hidden all over Ayrshire

  • Nov – National Sands AGM - Glasgow

  • ​Dec – Christmas bauble service, St Nicholas Church, Prestwick


  • Feb – Scottish Steering group meeting

  • March – Health visitors Sands IBC training

  • April – Ayrshire Sands AGM

  • April – Scottish Steering group meeting

  • May – Scottish Network day, Marine Hotel, Troon hosted by ourselves

  • June – Duck Race

  • June - This year's awareness campaign was #FindingYourWay2019 and in particular trying to highlight the importance of support for men.  To this end the very first football team in Scotland, Sands United FC Scotland, was started with the help of Ayrshire Sands.



Our relationship with the Doctors and Midwifes in ayrshire 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 main aim.

Purchases or Donations

made by Ayrshire Sands include

  • 1 Infusion Pump & 2 Sonicaid Deptones for ACH

  • Items for the Befriending room/lounge

  • Flower stones for knadgerhill baby plot

  • Cameras for the wards at ACH for parents to take pictures of their baby

  • Baby grows for Crosshouse

  • Moses baskets for the labour ward, ACH

  • Memory Cards

  • Blood Pressure Monitor

  • Vases for Knadgerhill

  • Neonatal Scanner Appeal

  • Scanner for Labour ward, ACH

  • Contribution for 2 Theraml Imagers ACH

  • Digital camera & printer

  • Substantion donation towards a new ventilator, AMU.  A new parents room in Special Care and new portable birthing pools

  • Fund training for 5 bereavement midwives

  • Fund 'Fetal Pillows'

  • 2 x Memorial love copper trees

  • 1 Outside Memorial steel tree

Fundraisers carried out

over the years by & for

Ayrshire Sands

  • Fundraising parachute jump

  • ½ Marathon & fun day

  • Millport bike ride

  • Family Fundraisers

  • Race Nights

  • Womens 10k Glasgow run

  • Charity Football matches

  • Chairty Golf matches

  • Mount Schiehallion Climb

  • Sponsored walk in Glencoe

  • Raffles

  • Supermarket bag packs

  • Afternoon Teas

  • Fashion Shows

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