Wigan mum marching to support stillborn and neonatal deaths charity in memory of her baby daughter

A mum who lost her baby daughter is on a mission to raise awareness of a charity which supports families affected by infant deaths.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:20 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:44 pm

Natasha Harris will be walking and jogging 50 miles through the month of March in aid of Sands, a charity which supports families following stillbirth and neonatal deaths.

The cause could not be any closer to Natasha’s heart. In 2012, the Platt Bridge mum lost her one-year-old girl Lavender to cot death, and she has also suffered several miscarriages.

When she found out about the fund-raising event being held for Sands, she didn’t think twice about giving it her support.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Natasha Harris pictured with children who are taking part in the walks too, from left, Kacy-Sky, 12, Murphy, seven-months-old and Charlie
Natasha Harris pictured with children who are taking part in the walks too, from left, Kacy-Sky, 12, Murphy, seven-months-old and Charlie

“I’ve not seen anyone local talking about it. So I thought I should do it,” she said.

“Sands weren’t as big of an organisation when I lost my daughter, but as the years have gone on, I’ve come to rely on them more and more.

“Not necessarily face to face, but more over email or chatting to someone online. I’ve been able to go to them and vent about how I’m feeling. There’s always someone available to speak to.

“They’ve not really had much publicity in the area, I feel.

Natasha Harris in training for her challenge

“When someone loses a child, you get more support, because people know you’ve had a child. Whereas, this helps people who’ve suffered miscarriages and haven’t been able to see or hold their child.

“A lot of people think ‘it was only a miscarriage’. That is not the case. Losing a child at any stage is heartbreaking, and is hard for the whole family to deal with, especially for dads. I think dads don’t get enough support as they should.”

Sands is the leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK. Sands exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.

Sands provides bereavement support services both nationally through its Freephone helpline, mobile app, online community and resources, and locally through a UK-wide network of around 100 regional support groups.

Sands works in partnership with health care professionals, trusts and health boards and offers a range of training programmes and bereavement care resources to ensure that every bereaved parent and family receives the best possible care wherever they are in the UK.

The charity promotes and funds research to better understand the causes of baby deaths and save babies’ lives.

Sands also raises awareness of baby loss and works with governments, key influencers and other stakeholders to make reducing the number of babies dying a priority nationally and locally.

More details can be found at sands.org.uk.

Donations to the fund-raiser can be made by clicking here.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers.