Farnborough Sands

Meet the team

As a group ran entirely by volunteers, the time, energy, ideas, enthusiasm and passion for making Farnborough Sands an always improving and growing community, is absolutely crucial to our success. Whether you have a little time to offer or a lot of time, all contributions help make us stronger. You can meet just some of our team below:

Wayne - Chair & Befriender


Wayne took over the role of Chair in February 2020, having been a member of the group since 2013. Along with helping to coordinate the activities of the committee and liaising with National Sands, Wayne is passionate about the work we do as befrienders, and feels fortunate to be a frequent speaker at training events for local healthcare professionals, helping raise awareness and quality of care for parents who have lost a child.

My wife and I received support from Sands and our local group during two experiences of loss. Knowing that there are others who will listen without judging, and who simply understand what its like to lose a child was a real source of help and comfort to us during some really difficult times. Nobody can make it 'better' but they can make it a little easier. We'll be forever grateful for that support, and the relationships we've built within the group.

Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved with the group or have suggestions/feedback to offer.
Email: wayne.griffiths@sandsvolunteer.org.uk

Philippa - Treasurer


Philippa joined the group in 2015, and became an active volunteer in 2019, working with the Support team to coordinate activities. In 2020, Philippa took over the role of Treasurer, and brings a wealth of financial knowledge and experience to ensure the effective administration and financial reporting of the group.

Our daughter was stillborn while we were living in Australia. Having received great support whilst there, when returning to Farnborough, I almost felt we were starting from scratch again. Worried that we wouldn't find the same support here, we attended a Farnborough Sands meeting and immediately felt welcome. Losing our daughter made me feel very lonely, so having a network of people who understood was so important to me. I found comfort being able to talk to people who were a few years ahead in their journey. To see them smiling and living their lives gave me much needed hope that one day I could find happiness again.

Email: philippa@farnboroughsands.co.uk

Emily - Befriender Coordinator and Vice Chair


Emily has been a member of the group since 2016, and trained as a Sands Befriender in 2019. Emily helps coordinate the work of the befriending team, including arranging our monthly support meetings. In addition, in her role as vice chair, Emily contributes to many of the wider activities of the group, with a particular attention to the organisation and effectiveness of the team.

I started attending support meetings regularly at the beginning of 2018, as I felt I needed to find a way to get more support, and attending the meetings was really helpful. Knowing that there are other people other there was a great comfort, and gave me a safe place and opportunity to talk about Joshua, who was stillborn at 42 weeks. I am beyond pleased to now be trained as a Befriender, and feel that it's a way of continuing Joshua’s legacy. I have a strong link with Basingstoke, and will be working to help widen the support we can offer across our group.

Email: emily@farnboroughsands.co.uk

Karl - GDPR Officer


Karl has been a member of the group since 2015 and has volunteered on and off since. As of February 2020, he has agreed to take on the GDPR officer role for the group. He will be working with us to ensure we are compliant with the data we hold. He also brings a wealth of IT knowledge that will help in the general running of the group.

The Farnborough Sands group have been there for my wife and I since we returned to the area in 2015. You will never feel completely normal after a loss, however being around people in a similar situation to you does ease the pain & Sands has helped us get to a new normal. It’s good to know that someone is available to offer support when you need it. Having received support from Farnborough Sands and its members, I now want to give back to the group that has helped me and my family over the years.

Email: karl.owen@sandsvolunteer.org.uk

Jodie - Befriender & Events Team


Jodie has been part of the Sands group since 2017, and works closely with Frimley Park Hospital to supply the memory boxes that are offered to parents who have lost a child. Jodie can also be found leading many of the activities we have around events and fundraising, as part of our dedicated team of volunteers. She also plans to complete Sands befriender training in the future, to join our expanding team supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby.

Being a bereaved parent is probably the loneliest place I’ve ever found myself in, until I found Sands. Being able to connect with likeminded people that understand the grief and the need to keep your baby’s memory alive is desperately important to me. After a TFMR (Termination for Medical Reasons), Sands made me feel welcome … like I belonged, and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
Making the 'memory boxes' on behalf of Farnborough Sands is something I'm honoured to do. Being able to put a little bit of love into each box is very special, hoping that the parents will get some comfort, and will treasure them forever … as I do mine.

Email: jodie@farnboroughsands.co.uk

Morgan - Befriender & Hospital Liaison


Morgan has been a member of the group since 2011, and started actively volunteering with the group in 2019.
She organises the Wave Of Light event that we hold each year (October), and takes on a number of coordination and organisational activities that support the operation and effectiveness of the team.

I hold Sands very close to my heart. When I lost my twin boys, I remember an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. I felt nobody around me understood my pain. Sands is a group that everyone hopes they’ll never need, but if you do, it is so comforting to meet people who just “get it”. I passionately believe that each & every family who experience baby loss, are provided the best support possible, and believe Sands play a huge role in improving bereavement care for parents and professionals.

Email: morgan.mepham@sandsvolunteer.org.uk

Laura - Befriender


Laura has been part of the Sands group since 2014, and trained as a befriender in 2016. Along with hosting some of our support meetings, Laura also provides support to others via email and telephone, and is passionate about the group being accessible to people at times of need. She is also active in our group committee, across a range of topics.

The Farnborough Sands group helped me find myself again after I lost my daughter Eleanor in 2014 … they helped me find my 'new normal'. Meeting and sharing experiences and feelings with other parents (people who understood how I was feeling) was exactly what I needed at that time. I chose to train as a befriender so I could help others who also needed support, as I believe its so important to have people with whom we can talk, whether it be in person or via email. Knowing we are not alone in this journey really matters. No two story's are the same … it is so important that people feel they can be open and honest without fear of judgement … finding other people who simply 'understand' what you're going through.

Email: Laura can be contacted via support.farnborough@sands.org.uk