Local support organisations

ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices)

Who We Are: ARC is the only national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening and its consequences and continuing that support to those parents who have made that difficult choice and have had the traumatic experience of terminating their pregnancy.

At ARC, we provide much-needed non-directive information and support to parents before, during and after antenatal screening; when they are told their baby has an anomaly; when they are making difficult decisions about continuing with or ending a pregnancy, and when they are coping with complex and painful issues after making a decision, including bereavement.

What We Offer:

  • A national helpline. Our helpline is answered by trained staff Monday to Friday, 10.00am-5.30pm. Parents and healthcare professionals can call 0845 077 2290 or 0207 713 7486 from a mobile.
  • A password protected, moderated Forum: a safe place for ARC parent members to make contact with others who have lost a baby following a prenatal diagnosis, in order to provide support and lessen the sense of isolation.
  • A Forum is also available for ARC’s healthcare professional members.
  • A volunteer Support Network: our Support Network is made up of trained parent volunteers who have themselves faced difficult decisions about the future of their pregnancy, giving them a unique insight into support newly bereaved parents.
  • A range of publications: ARC’s parents handbooks ‘Supporting you throughout your pregnancy’ and ‘A handbook to be given to parents when an anomaly is diagnosed’ describe some of the complex physical and emotional issues parents may face after a prenatal diagnosis. Booklets are also available for fathers, children and grandparents.
  • Working along with SANDS Lothians we hold a parents meeting in the SANDS Craiglockhart centre every 3 months for those parents bereaved as a result of fetal anomaly.

How to contact us: Tel: 0845 077 2290   Website: www.arc-uk.org


Who we are: Counselling service for 12 – 18 year olds affected by sudden and unexpected death of family or close friend. Bereavement could have occurred in earlier childhood or recent months but is having a significant impact on day-to-day functioning for the young person.

The service is part of West Lothian Drug and Alcohol service but the death does not need to be substance related.

What we offer:

  • Free one to one counselling either within school, a community centre or health centre. Across the whole of West Lothian.
  • Consultation to schools or professionals working with young people
  • Free training on bereavement awareness

To refer a young person please submit a referral through the Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing screening group, which is part of the Children and Young People’s Team in West Lothian council.  Please indicate the referral is for the Grief Matters Service.

How to contact us: Tel: 01506 430 225   Email: enquiries@wldas.com
Website: www.wldas.com


Who we are: Richmond’s Hope was founded in 2003 to support children from Edinburgh and the Lothians who have been bereaved. Since opening we have supported more than 3000 children and their families.

What we offer: We offer children and young people aged 4-18 years individual sessions with trained workers, allowing them a safe space to work through their grief. We take all referrals from Edinburgh and Midlothian and a limited number of referrals from East and West Midlothian. We have open referrals and can be contacted on the number listed below.

How to Contact Us: Tel: 0131 661 6818   Email: info@richmondshope.org.uk
Website: www.richmondshope.org.uk


Who we are: SANDS Lothians are a local charity who offers support, understanding and help, both of a practical and emotional nature to bereaved parents who have experienced the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or soon after birth.

What we offer: We are here to offer support for as long as required and offer person-centred support through various monthly support groups, one to one befriending and free counselling both in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

All our staff are bereaved parents so understand this journey and can validate those intense feelings. We meet with families during the day so families can chat in private in our lovely befriending room in Edinburgh or West Lothian and also host various monthly support meetings (we have 4 in total) where families can meet with others who understand the journey they have found themselves on.  We supply memory bags to the local hospitals which include photograph albums and we fund SANDS UK training in our area. We also supply equipment to the hospital including knitting for babies, bedding, furniture and printers.

How to contact us: Tel: 0131 622 6263   Email: info@sands-lothians.org.uk
Website: www.sands-lothians.org.uk


Who We Are: The Trust is the only cot death charity in Scotland. The Trust is available to any family affected by the sudden, unexpected death of a baby or young child under 5 years of age.

What We Offer:

  • Support – Bespoke support services for all family members including parents, siblings and  grandparents. The support available includes home visiting bereavement support and on-going contact with the regional support worker for that area, counselling, befriending and play therapy for siblings. The Trust also provides family days to bring parents, siblings and grandparents together for peer support.
  • The Next Infant Support Programme (NISP) is available for parents and siblings affected by a cot death, who are having a baby. The service includes all the support offered above plus the loan of an apnoea monitor for 12 months after birth.
  • Funding Research – Funding research into the cause(s) of cot death.
  • Education and raising awareness – Providing free education to parents and professional across Scotland on ways to reduce the risks of cot death and to raise awareness of cot death. We strive to improve the multi-professional response when a baby or young child dies suddenly and unexpectedly so that families may be better supported.

How to contact us: Tel: 01413 573 946   Email: contact@scottishcotdeathtrust.org
Website: www.scottishcotdeathtrust.org


Who we are: SiMBA, Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal, was founded in 2005 and became a registered charity in 2007.  We are based in Dunbar, East Lothian in Scotland and we are here to respond to the needs of those affected by the loss of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

What we offer: SiMBA helps bereaved families during the time they have with their baby using the Memory Box which we gift to hospitals across the UK and to individuals upon request.  The Memory Box is a treasure chest containing items such as a Birth Acknowledgement Certificate, butterfly charms, a box for a lock of hair and inkless hand and footprint impression kits.  These items are a vital tool in allowing parents to gather and create precious memories of the time that they have spent with their baby.  Our Memory Boxes come in two sizes giving recognition to even the tiniest of babies.  We also donate Clay Imprint Kits funded by the Haydon Kennan Foundation (www.haydonkennan.co.uk) to accompany each large Memory Box, allowing parents to create lasting impressions of their baby’s hands and feet.

The SiMBA Trees of Tranquillity are unique to SiMBA.  Each leaf represents a baby who has died and each Tree offers bereaved parents the opportunity to honour their baby in a simple, quiet way that shows they are not alone in their loss.

The charity has monthly support groups all over Scotland which offers families a safe place to share their experience.  Our groups welcome anyone affected by the loss of a baby to come along and talk or just listen with people who understand.  We also have closed Facebook pages specifically to support bereaved parents, men, grandparents, those who wish to share photos of their baby and to support future pregnancies (SiMBA, Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal).

The Lola Commons Fund for SiMBA, set up by Lisa Hague and partner Kris Commons, focuses on creating bespoke Family Rooms where parents can spend precious time with their baby, creating memories to treasure in a comfortable and private environment.  The fund also provides vital equipment for the rooms like Cuddle Cots, photography equipment and comfortable chairs / beds for partners.

SiMBA also organises training to support midwives, neonatal nurses and hospital staff giving them full knowledge of the equipment that is available and giving them the confidence to use it to support families to make memories with their baby.

How to contact us: Tel: 01368 860141   Email: team@simbacharity.org.uk
Website: www.simbacharity.org.uk


Who We Are: We support children and young people with cancer and related illnesses and their families and friends on their journey and those bereaved.

What We Offer: We offer counselling and one-to-one support for children and young people, siblings and parents, drop-in sessions, music, play and alternative therapies from Jak’s Den- our purpose built haven for our families; and outreach to the hospitals and at home for those unable to attend. Families can contact us directly on the number below or through our website.

How to Contact us: Telephone: 01506 412302    Email: allison@teamjak.co.uk
Website: www.teamjak.co.uk


What we offer: Along with staff from the Looked After Children Team and Children and Young People’s Team, we run Give Us A Break groups throughout West Lothian. These groups offer support for any young person who has experienced a loss of any kind. The groups run for 8 weeks in or out of school and offer peer support with two experienced and trained facilitators. The groups are appropriate for young people in P6 and above.

Referrals can be made through the young person’s school, their social worker if they have one or directly through the contact given at EP services.

How to contact us: Tel: 01506 283130   Email: ed.psych@westlothian.gov.uk
Web: www.westlothian.gov.uk/EducationPsychologyService