Writing to Sands during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

As Sands London and regional offices are now closed with all remaining staff working from home should you need to make contact then please do so by telephone, email or using a Contact Us form on this website. We are able to check post infrequently as a result of the current restrictions so if you cannot use telephone or email then please be aware it may be sometime before we can access our offices to collect our correspondence. Therefore before you place anything in the post please get in touch as we may be able to offer alternative routes – e.g. bank account details to pay in a cheque

You can email:

General: info@sands.org.uk

Fundraising/Supporter Care: fundraising@sands.org.uk

Helpline: helpline@sands.org.uk

Shop: shop@sands.org.uk


General enquiries 020 7436 7940/ 020 3897 6094

Helpline: 0808 164 3332

Fundraising/Supporter Care: 020 3897 6092

Shop: 020 3031 8898


Fundraising Q&As

If you've got a question for our fundraising team, check here first - we may be able to answer it for you! If you don't see the questions you need to ask below, then call our fundraising team on 020 3897 6092 or email fundraising@sands.org.uk.

How do I go about fundraising for Sands?

We’re delighted that you want to want to fundraise for us! Our work is totally dependent on donations and it means you want to join us and share our vision of a world where fewer babies die, and where every bereaved family gets the care and support they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.  From marathons to Tough Mudders, dress down days to Bake4Sands, we have loads of fundraising ideas for you.

Once you’ve got a fundraising idea, register your event and tell us about it. You will have access to our branded resources and support from our Fundraising team to make whatever you are doing a success.

Our friendly Fundraising team are also on hand to answer any questions you may have, email fundraising@sands.org.uk or call 020 3897 6092.

How do I fundraise online?

The easiest way is to set up a JustGiving page:

  • Visit JustGiving.com
  • Select ‘Sands’ as your charity and then click on the Fundraise for us button
  • Personalise your page with any photos, then explain what you’re doing to raise money in aid of Sands – and if you choose to, why.
  • Share your link on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  Don’t forget you can email or text the link to all your contacts!
  • Register your event

Can I fundraise for Sands by doing a sponsored walk, marathon, or other event?

Yes of course we’d love you to join #TeamSands! Check out all our upcoming events and see if there is something you fancy. If you have a specific question about a run, walk or another event, feel free to get in touch with our Challenge Events Team.

Can I raise sponsorship using another online provider?

We prefer you to use JustGiving. Over 21 million people have raised £1.5 billion for charity on JustGiving. The site makes fundraising simple, fast, effective and fun. If you would prefer to use another provider please speak to us so we can ensure we’ll be able to recognise your fundraising efforts.

Can I use the Sands logo?

If you’d like to use our logo as part of your fundraising for publicity or in any other way, please contact our Fundraising Team on 020 3897 6092 or email fundraising@sands.org.uk who will be able to help you.

What resources do you have available that I can order?

When you register your fundraising you’ll be given the option to order resources such as t-shirts, running vests, collection tins and posters to support your fundraising.

We don’t charge for our resources because we want to help make your fundraising as successful as possible. But please do remember we’re a charity, so please only select the resources that you really think you will need - for example, the cost of 3 x running vests could provide a Sands Memory box to a newly bereaved family.  If you would like to make a separate donation towards the costs of your resources please speak to the Fundraising team.

Can I get more information about the work of Sands to tell my friends, family and colleagues?

Yes of course. Not only are you raising vital funds for the charity, you are providing valuable awareness of the important work. You can read more about Sands here, or we can provide you with some leaflets to hand out.  We can share with you our Sands film; please do share with your friends, family and colleagues to encourage them to support your fundraising activities and in turn Sands.

Can I fundraise for you through my company or a product that I have made?

Absolutely! If it’s a fundraiser with colleagues you’re planning, register your event and have a look at our fundraising ideas for inspiration!

If your company would like to get involved in other ways, or you would like to nominate us for a Charity of the Year partners or you would like to donate a percentage of sales of a product towards our work, please get in touch with Sands Corporate Partnerships Team either by calling 0203 897 3444 or emailing corporate.partnerships@sands.org.uk

How is Sands made up?

Sands is a national organisation with local roots. We share the same vision, mission, aims, objectives, values and goal across the UK – a world where few babies die and less families need our support. To fulfil these important aims and objectives Sands needs money to carry out our important work as Sands work is totally dependent on donations. Read more about our aims and strategy here.

Can you promote my fundraising event on social media?

We are sorry, but we aren’t able to promote individual’s fundraising events on Facebook or Twitter. But we are happy to share any link you post on Instagram and Facebook Stories if you tag us @Sands on Facebook and @sandscharity on Instagram. We can also include your event in our Friday Shout Out and we do use our social media platforms to celebrate fundraising successes.

Spreading the word far and wide about your fundraising is so much more successful when it comes from you. Don’t forget to use our hashtag #teamsands.

Can I have someone from Sands come to speak at my event?

It can depend. Availability of people equipped to talk confidently about Sands can vary across the country. Please get in touch at least four weeks before your event so we can do our best to send someone along. If there’s no one available to attend we can a film or presentation about our work instead. Contact our Fundraising Team on 020 3897 6092 or email fundraising@sands.org.uk who will be able to help you.

Can Gift Aid be claimed on the funds I raise?

If you set up an online fundraising page, your donors will be prompted to fill in the Gift Aid details on their individual donation.

If your donors or sponsors are UK taxpayers, don’t forget to ask them to Gift Aid their donations. Please encourage your sponsors to complete their Surname, Initial and full address on any sponsorship forms as we need this information to successfully claim Gift Aid.  By adding Gift Aid, we can make 25p for every £1 given. This means even more money goes towards saving babies’ lives – and it doesn’t cost you or your supporters a penny.

How will the money I raise be spent?

All the valuable funds that you raise will support activities linked to the core charitable aims of Sands. All funds raised will be spent where the need is greatest, helping Sands to continue to deliver its vital services to support anyone affected by the death of a baby, to improve the bereavement care received by parents and families, and to promote research to save babies' lives.

Can I restrict my fundraising to a particular area of Sands work?

Donations that are unrestricted give us far greater flexibility.  They ensure that your gifts are put to use when and where they are most needed to support bereaved families throughout the UK. Although it is sometimes possible to restrict your donation to a particular area of our work, this can really limit the effectiveness of our planning. If you do want to support a particular area of our work, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0203 908 5525 or email supportercare@sands.org.uk

Can I make a donation to, or fundraise for a Sands Group?

Yes you can. Each Group spearheads the fundraising for Sands in their area. You can support their fundraising drive via the local JustGiving pages. Go to our Groups section and Find your nearest group.  Follow the link to make a donation to Sands.  If you would like to fundraise for a Sands Group please follow the link and click on Join the Team to set up your online JustGiving page linked to that group.

Can I fundraise for a Sands Project?

Sands volunteers work right across the UK furthering the work of Sands supporting bereaved families and improving the care they receive when a baby dies.

If you'd like to donate or raise money for a specific Sands project, simply find a project to read about our live projects.

Can I fundraise for a Cold Cot or other piece of medical equipment and get it donated to my local hospital?

There is always a need for a new cold cot somewhere, so your fundraising could make a huge difference. However, your local hospital might not need one right now. Before you start raising money, check with the hospital first and speak to our Fundraising team if you are not sure, or can’t get an answer. Once we have established there is a need for a Cold Cot or other piece of specialist medical equipment we can talk to you and the local Sands Group about starting to fundraise for it. If not, we can help you identify another hospital or project that needs your support.

I’ve finished my fundraising, what do I do now?

You really have done something amazing by fundraising for us - so please make sure those hard earned pounds get to us. We'll make sure they go towards the greatest need.

Online:                        Pay your money in online.  Please note if you have set up a JustGiving or VirginMoneyGiving page then you don't need to do anything. JustGiving sends us the money that people have donated.

Over the phone:        Call our Supporter Care Team and pay in your sponsorship money over the phone using your debit or credit card by calling 020 3897 3415 Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00.

At a Bank:                   If you would like to make a direct transfer of money from your bank account or pay over the counter at Lloyds TSB (England and Wales), Halifax (Northern Ireland) and Bank of Scotland (Scotland) please call our Supporter Care Team 0203 908 5525 and they will provide you with the bank details. .

By post:                      Simply make your cheque payable to 'Sands’ and pop it in the post. Please don’t send cash in the post. Send it to:

Sands, Victoria Charity Centre, 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB

Don't forget your Money Return form and any paper sponsorship forms so we can claim valuable Gift Aid.

Can I get extra personalised certificates to put up at my work or school?

Yes of course! We love to recognise the incredible achievements of our fundraisers and are very happy to send out additional copies of certificates. Request these by sending an email to fundraising@sands.org.uk after you’ve paid in your fundraising.

I've just taken part in an event for you and I want to do another one - what shall I do?

That’s is amazing that you want to take on another event for Sands. Thank you! Feel free to talk to our team e: teamsands@sands.org.uk or t: 0203 897 6092 or visit our website for ideas. Once you have your idea let us know by completing our registration form.

Can I organise Balloon, Dove, Butterfly and/or Sky Lantern Release?

Sands Policy Statement on Balloon and Sky Lantern Releases

Sands Volunteers and supporters have for many years used balloon releases as a way of raising awareness and remembering their babies who have died, and we recognise that these events hold great impact and significance for bereaved families. Over recent months and years the environmental damage done by balloons to wildlife and oceans has become recognised, and opinion on releases both from Sands’ members and the general public has changed. The reputational risk to regional groups as well as Sands nationally is increasing, alongside the significant damage caused to the environment by such events.

Sands seeks to support bereaved parents to remember their babies in ways which are both personally significant and which have an impact on raising awareness of the issues around baby loss, but without compromising the environment or distracting from Sands vital work around baby loss.


It is now widely known that balloon and sky lantern releases have the potential to impact adversely upon the environment.  Sands takes its responsibility to protect the environment very seriously.

Sands believes:

  1. There is a risk of harm or death to wildlife and livestock (ingestion, entanglement, entrapment, panic) from released balloons and sky lanterns.
  2. Unexpired sky lanterns pose a significant and very real fire hazard.
  3. Both contribute to the defacement of land by litter and waste.
  4. Helium supplies are finite and scarce – and are needed for machines such as MRI scanners.

Sands will therefore not encourage the use of balloons or sky lanterns for releases and will work actively with supporters and volunteers to find environmentally friendly alternatives.

Views from other organisations

Many councils and local authorities are voting to ban balloon and lantern releases.

The Chief Fire Officers Association, National Farmers Union, Women’s Farmers Union, Marine Conservation Society, Country Land Owners Association, Newmarket Stud Farmers Association and RSPCA are amongst those urging individuals to use alternatives to balloons and sky lanterns and to ask event planners and retailers to use alternatives as well. Fire and Rescue Groups, Master Thatchers and Wildlife Trusts have also noted their concerns or called for a ban.

There is more information on the impact on wildlife and issues around Helium.

Butterfly releases

Sands does not support the release of butterflies for remembrance events due to the following wildlife concerns:

  • Butterfly releases disturb the natural distribution of species and the study thereof.
  • Bred butterflies may have different genetic traits from wild ones and releases may disrupt the genetics of natural populations.
  • There is a risk of spreading diseases to a wild populations already at risk.
  • Releases send the wrong message regarding human attitudes towards nature and detracts from the real issues facing butterfly populations.

Dove releases

There is concern from the RSPCA and other animal welfare charities about the use of doves in releases for events and again in terms of animal welfare and environmental issues Sands is unable to support dove releases.

Bio-degradable balloons

Biodegradable balloons are damaging to the environment as they take 4-5 years to degrade and have the same potential impact on wildlife. While much of the balloon might disintegrate over time, the knot and some of the latex remains long after you said your goodbyes, while their strings entangle wildlife.

Sands will therefore not encourage the use of bio-degradable balloons for releases.

Alternative Remembrance Events

We have collected together many very special alternatives to balloon releases which Sands volunteers and supporters across the country have suggested/used.  These include:

  • Blow bubbles into the breeze: for an eco-friendly way to remember.
  • Foam shape machines can blow foam butterflies or other shapes skyward.
  • Flower/petal drops into rivers – flower heads are dropped and floated downstream – a powerful way to let go by watching petals float away.
  • Create a line of pebbles marked with babies names.
  • Bulb planting – this can be done in conjunction with local authority parks departments to provide an increasing display year on year in a town or country park.
  • Plant a tree: it will last many lifetimes and will support more life.
  • Throw wild flower bombs: again they create more life, and a riot of colour for years to come.
  • Rice paper boats can be named and sailed down river.
  • Coloured strings of lights.
  • Write your best memories in chalk: they will stay for a little while then will be washed away, without causing harm but you can take a photo of them to hold forever.
  • Write names in the sand.
  • Have a ribbon event.

Here is a blog written by a bereaved Dad about balloon releases and beautiful alternatives.

Get in touch with Sands Fundraising team to discuss the suggestions further or to share your own ideas.

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