Our Story

We have been supporting bereaved families for over 30 years in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Our Story

In 1986 Prof. Neil MacIntosh came to Edinburgh to work as Head of the Department of Child Life and Health. He was a huge influence on SANDS in Edinburgh.

He involved them in speaking at medical student tutorials which were of great benefit to the students.

In 1990 Dorothy Maitland took over running the charity. One of the first things she introduced was a separate telephone line in her house so that Edinburgh SANDS could be listed in the telephone book. This was to prove to be a great asset. The meetings had to progress from members’ houses to a church hall as the meetings became so big. Sometimes up to 50 parents attended. She also introduced memorial services throughout the year and she engaged in talks with the local maternity hospital.

In 1993 – 1995 there were huge changes. A SANDS Family Room was opened at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion on the ante-natal ward. This was joint funded by the Hospital and Edinburgh SANDS. It gave parents the time and privacy to spend with their stillborn baby and also for close friends and family to visit. The room was a great comfort to many parents and their families. Many babies were baptised in this room too. Around this time counselling was also introduced through Ruth Wilson who continued to provide counselling until her retirement in December 2015. The counselling support made the charity unique in offering this as an extension of what other baby loss charities were offering and has grown ever since.

We now have seven part time staff many who are bereaved parents themselves. We offer many services to bereaved parents at our Craiglockhart Office where we have been happily based since August 2000.