Preston North End are proud to be supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week and the national Wave of Light on Friday 15th October.
With one in 14 pregnancies ending in loss, the Wave of Light sees families around the world light a candle at 7pm on Friday 15th October, as a global and united symbol to commemorate the lives of babies who have sadly passed away at or during pregnancy, or soon after birth and in infancy.
The Wave of Light also sees buildings and arenas across the world lit in pink and blue; mirroring the colours of the Baby Loss Awareness Week ribbon, with Deepdale having proudly shone in pink and blue this week.
Baby Loss Awareness Week is now in its 19th year, providing bereaved parents, families and friends with the opportunity to remember and talk about the children they have sadly lost.
Among a range of charities that provides support to bereaved families following the loss of a child at, during, or shortly after pregnancy, is Sands [Still and Neonatal Death Charity] United Football Club.
Sands United is a UK-wide network of football clubs that brings dads and other bereaved family members together through their shared love of the game and the sport as a whole.
Players come together through the Sands network to feel at ease talking about their grief – when they are ready – and can also commemorate the lives of their children by displaying their names on the back of their Sands kit on matchdays.
Sands looks to reduce the number of babies dying, while ensuring ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support.
Allan Pike had not played grassroots football for two decades before joining the Sands United team in Brighton a few years ago, where he is now captain and a strong advocate for the charity.
He said: “Sitting in the changing room with 15 other guys who have been through similar experiences is a huge comfort and help sometimes.
“Everyone knows that you’re not 100 per cent all the time, so everyone is looking out for you. It’s like a brotherhood rather than a normal football team.
“We’re barely scratching the surface in terms of players. My team, Brighton, have 50 players registered, but the statistics show that there has to be more people out there.
“If there are people who want to start their own Sands United team, there’s support and tools there to help someone start their own team and hopefully reach more men and families out there to access support.”
Find out more about Baby Loss Awareness Week at https://babyloss-awareness.org.