Charity football match in Steyning for SANDS

Sands (Stillborn and Neo-natal death charity) is a national organisation that works through regional groups. As well as supporting bereaved parents, it works with local hospitals and midwives as well as funding research to try and reduce, if not eliminate the baby that dies before, during or shortly after birth every 90 minutes in the UK.

Sands United FC was formed in 2018 following a successful charity match in Northampton, bringing men together over a collective love of football to bond, trust and open up in a friendly and safe environment.

Through their love of football and the support, comradery and sense of belonging associated with team sports, Sands United FC have been able to provide players with a unique support network, empowering them to open up about their loss and grief when they’re ready.

Many grieving fathers bottle up their feelings, which can lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder so we want to help break the silence amongst men, empower them to own their feelings and take care of their mental health.  With men aged under 45 more likely to die by their own hand that any other reason it is important that men are offered many different ways of seeking and getting support.

Through this team they are hoping to give these players and men a support network around them so they can finally feel able to open up about their loss.

Each player is able to play with their babies names on their chest, matches are dedicated in memory of anyone achieving a milestone such as a birthday/anniversary.

They are launching the team in the summer with a charity match on 16th June (Father’s Day) at Steyning Town FC and will start pre-season training in the next week or two and hope to affiliate to the Sussex Sunday Football League for 2019/20 season.

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