30-hour spin put on for memory event
Helping families grieving for the loss of a baby is something Sands does well, but their support comes with costs they need to meet.
Their Manawatu-Horowhenua branch were at the Home Show in the weekend running their Miles in Memory fundraising event.
Sands is a national organisation which supports parents and families that have experienced the death of a baby at any stage during pregnancy, or as an infant.
Their Miles in Memory saw two mums riding on spin bikes for 24 hours on Friday and three dads riding for 30 hours, starting on Saturday, in memory of babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.
Jen Stephens said the event was their major fundraising event with a goal to raise $5000.
This was the fifth time the event had been held but the first year they had mums riding.
As Sands received no government funding, Stephens said the money they raised went towards the different ways they supported families through their loss.
This included the care packages they made, a photographer who goes in and photographs the baby and their parents, as well as clothing items made.
‘‘We also provide little coffins that are made up especially for the small babies.’’
Everything they provided was free for the families, but came at a cost to them.
‘‘Everyone who is in the group has lost so we can understand their journey, but everyone’s journey is totally different.’’
Stephens herself lost two babies, one at 17 weeks and one at 24 weeks.
‘‘It took me a long time to be able to talk about it.’’
The second loss was in 2009 and Stephens said she joined Sands five years ago to help people.
‘‘It took me a couple of years until I could see myself helping support people, but now it’s quite an honour to be able to be there for the families.’’
People from around the region also got involved.
Jono Naylor and Ian McKelvie were among those who jumped on and pumped the spare bike at the Home Show to show support.
Sands was also running a raffle until the end of August, with tickets that could be purchased by messaging their Facebook page.
Over the weekend, the annual Home Show at the Central Energy Trust Arena had thousands of people through to check out the 270 companies on display.
Crystal Johnston and Liz Peters spin-cycling for Sands.