Sands United FC
Norfolk is home to a new football club that aims to bring people together who have been affected by Stillbirth and Neonatal Death (SANDS).
Guy Mansfield set up Sands United FC Norwich with Norfolk Sands earlier this year after struggling with the heart-breaking loss of his daughter, Emma who was stillborn at 37 weeks. The group is now looking for new players in order to form a full team to play games together and compete locally.
Sands United FC is a UK wide network of football clubs that provide a unique way for dads and other bereaved family members to come together through a shared love of sport. Sands United FC allows members to find a support network where they can feel at ease talking about their grief, when they're ready.
After hearing about Sands and learning that there was no local team as part of the network, Guy set up the Norwich club to spread awareness and offer support to those in similar situations: “In June 2020 my daughter Emma was stillborn at 37 weeks. I heard of SANDS Utd football teams and the great support they bring to bereaved fathers in similar circumstances to mine. SUFC Norwich now exists to bring that same support to fathers in Norfolk.”
Sands supports anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. The Sands United FC teams also commemorate their babies' all too brief lives by proudly displaying their names on the kit worn for every match.
Each team member helps to make a difference by raising vital funds to help Sands achieve its vision of a world where fewer babies die, and when a baby does die, anyone affected receives the best possible care and support for as long as it's needed.
Sands United FC Norwich are actively looking for new players to join the team, as well as financial support in the form of donations and sponsorship.
Guy is eager to emphasise that playing experience is not mandatory and that people of all levels can get involved: “No level of footballing ability is required! We are here simply to meet new friends and support each other in a fun and friendly, zero pressure, team environment.”
If you’d like to find out more about joining Sands United FC Norwich or providing financial support, please get in touch through the club’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, or email Guy at SUFCNorwich@gmail.com.
If you have been affected by the death of a baby from stillbirth, or neonatal death, you can call Sands Helpline 0808 164 3332 or e-mail email@example.com.