Karen Hancox – Oxfordshire Sands
Current role/activities: Chair, Secretary and befriender
I am overwhelmed and humbled to have been nominated for this award – and by more than one person! I don’t do what I do for thanks, so for it to be recognised leaves me lost for words!
I became involved with Oxfordshire Sands in 2008, in the year following the death of our first daughter, Kayleigh. During 2008, I almost single-handedly raised £13,000 in memory of Kayleigh and from there became involved with fundraising for Oxfordshire Sands.
This then led to me completing my befriender training and becoming part of the committee as secretary, hospital liaison and fundraising coordinator – and in 2011 I also took on the role of Chair.
There are only 3 of us who run Oxfordshire Sands – this has been the case for many years – and so it is a real challenge to keep everything running smoothly. We work together as a team and I lead the organisation of awareness, remembrance and fundraising events.
I have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of baby loss and Sands, forming established links with the local media, which has made a huge impact.
I think it is important to keep up to date with everything coming through from Head Office and we join with the national campaigns. I run the Facebook Page to ensure we have good communication with our bereaved families.
It’s all a juggling act with my teaching job, my family and Sands work – but I love being able to make a difference, in honour of my Kayleigh.
Sarah Finnigan, West Network Coordinator said: “Karen has always been dedicated to her volunteering role at Oxfordshire Sands. She oversees all of the groups’ Facebook page and this is very well run. She engages well with the NC and other Sands staff, attending all network days and network calls and offers support and ideas to other groups in the network. She has a really good relationship with her local MP and has previously been invited to parliament during BLAW. Last year, Karen was instrumental in getting the Banbury Cross lit up blue and pink for BLAW and is busy arranging this again for this year. Karen always ensures that any events the group are involved with gets coverage in the local press.”
Karen has been nominated as part of 40 volunteers for #Sands40. Join them at Sands 40th Anniversary Conference on 17th November 2018 in Glasgow.
Sands is marking its 40th anniversary this year and we would like to say thank you for the incredible support and contribution that our dedicated volunteers make across the UK to support bereaved parents and anyone affected by the death of a baby.
We will be hosting an awards ceremony during the Sands 40th Anniversary Conference to celebrate the wide range of volunteering involvement in Sands and acknowledge 40 volunteers for their dedication and commitment.