Sands Queensland is very lucky to have the volunteers we do. Each person brings their own skills and abilities, helping out in different ways to form a fantastic team.Read More »
Bev is another of Sands Queensland’s long time members and volunteers who has contributed an enormous amount of her time and skills, helping to shape Sands into the organisation that it is. Her hard work and dedication to ensuring Sands Queensland is a supportive place for bereaved parents has been her greatest gift to Sands in memory of her daughter Rosalie and son Andrew.Read More »
Marion is one of our long standing Sands members, who has been volunteering with us for about 30 years and fondly refers to herself as ‘the old Sands bag’. Of course she is nothing of the sort. Marion brings her energy and enthusiasm for getting a job done every volunteer day at Sands House and is always a willing listener for new parents and volunteers.Read More »
As part of National Volunteer Week we are going to introduce you to some of our amazing volunteers. Sands Queensland could not operate the way it does without these inspiring people who give their time, energy and heart so enthusiastically.Read More »
Guest post by Janelle Tsockallos, Parent Supporter with Sands Queensland
My name is Janelle. My husband and I have been Sands members since early 2005 when we experienced the loss or our twins. We were so grateful to Sands for the support and friendship we received in the following years.
In 2008, the state co-ordinator asked if I would attend the Listener’s Training Workshop. I was honoured she felt that I could be helpful to other bereaved parents and the Sands organisation. I have been on the telephone listener’s roster for five years now and I find it to be a very rewarding role. To be able to offer support to bereaved parents is a way of honouring our own babies.
Whilst we are not professional counsellors, volunteer listeners are all bereaved parents who have completed a training workshop. Many people can offer you sympathy after the loss of your baby, but a Sands listener can offer you empathy. Whilst the circumstances of our baby’s loss may be different to yours, there are many common aspects of the grief journey we all travel.
Telephone support is available through the 1300 0 sands (1300 072 637) support line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you feel the need to talk to someone or need support, do not hesitate to call. You are never wasting our time. Every call is important. If a listener is not available when you phone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Listeners are not judgemental, we are here to listen and support.
It is a big step for some people to reach out for help and pick up the phone to make that initial call to 1300 0 Sands support line. Many bereaved parents and family members find it such a relief that they can talk to and open up to someone who understands what they are thinking and feeling during one of the most shattering experiences of their lives.
Remember you are not alone. Sands is only a phone call away.
This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week (NVW) is ‘The Power of Volunteers’. What a great theme for Sands, since Sands is powered by volunteers. Without all our wonderful volunteers we couldn’t reach out through the Queensland community like we do.
To celebrate NVW, we want to show you how each piece of what someone does contributes to a whole. How what each person does matters; how Sands achieves its mission support parents and families who experience the death of their baby before, during or after birth.
In 2013, a number people participated in the Bridge to Brisbane. Some formed teams, some ran as individuals but all made an outstanding effort to raise awareness and funds for Sands Queensland. Through the Every Day Hero page these participants set up donation pages to get their message out and ask for support and support is what they got – $30,000 was raised!
Thanks to these volunteers, Sands was able to hold Parent Support Training in two locations – Cairns and Brisbane. Regional Contact, Parent Supporter and Sands Queensland Committee member, Nerissa Healy, ran the training days, resulting in 4 new parents supporters for the support phone lines, email support and support groups.
Last year 350 support calls, 314 emails and 82 support meetings were held providing essential support services, and a place for bereaved parents to express their grief.
Volunteers power the support services at Sands Queensland. From the fundraisers who raise vital funds, to the long term volunteers who dedicate their time and skills, to the newly recruited volunteers making a commitment to carry on the Sands motto of parents supporting parents.
Thank you to all our volunteers!
If you would like to share your volunteering story, please use #NVW2014 and #NVWSands or post your comments and photos on our wall at http://www.facebook.com/SandsQld