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Support group meetings

If you would like to attend a group meeting, please drop us an email, or call us on Skype, and we will send you details of the next meeting. At present groups only meet in Cape Town. If you live in another city and would like to set up a group under our auspices, please contact us.

The meetings are run by a volunteer facilitator, who is themselves a bereaved parent. That person is not a professional counsellor. They will seek share their story with you, but please understand that any advice they offer is offered from personal experience and is not a professional opinion. Should you need professional help, please seek a bereavement or grief counsellor or psychologist. From time to time, we may approach individual members to ask them to consider becoming facilitators in order to meet the increasing demand for groups.

Meetings are free of charge.

There is no compulsion for anyone to talk or share in any meeting – you are very welcome to simply sit and listen to others. In order to create a supportive and safe environment we ask that members refrain from saying anything critical of others or the way in which they express their grief.

Groups consist of a maximum of 5 couples, or 10 people, in order to ensure that everyone who wishes to talk is able to have the opportunity to do so. If we do not have sufficient facilitators to enable you join a group immediately, your name will be put on a waiting list. As soon as a place becomes available in a group, or we find another facilitator, you will be contacted.

Fathers are particularly encouraged to attend.

Meetings are held in venues where there are no young children – this could be in a parent’s home, in a hospital room or in a community venue. Women who fall pregnant after the loss of a baby are requested not to attend meetings as they may cause severe distress to other members.

Meetings are held in the evening, once a month, for about 2 hours, at local venues (geographically organised). However, one-on-one support is still available in between meetings.

Attendance at meetings is on a no-strings attached, drop-in basis. Just because you attend one meeting does not mean you have to attend any future meeting(s). If you choose not to attend a meeting, that does not mean you may not attend any future meetings. You may come to as many meetings as you like, for as long as you like. All we ask is that you confirm your attendance at any particular meeting so that the facilitator knows to expect you. You will receive an email or phone call every month to inform you of the next meeting, unless you specifically request otherwise. Should you decide you no longer wish to be part of a group, please inform your facilitator so that your place can be offered to someone on the waiting list.

While we are Christians, bereaved parents of other faiths or no particular religious affliation are very welcome. We encourage guests to talk about their faith through their stories, as long as it is in a non-proselytising manner, because faith is an important part of our lives and our beings and therefore will form an important part of our healing. We ask that those who have no faith do not talk disparagingly to those who do. Likewise, we ask that those who belong to traditional faiths do not disparage those who hold to alternative beliefs. These groups are designed to support each other, irrespective of our different viewpoints, not to criticise each other.

It is not physically possible for us to support everyone who joins the groups, so we encourage members to develop friendships with each other and to support each other between meetings. However, there is no compulsion for anyone to do so.

Rory and Debbi Windell, based in CPT, also run a short course of 6 weeks for bereaved parents called ‘Empty Arms’. You can find more details on their website Live in Hope.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. suria permalink
    August 24, 2010 10:35 am

    HI ek sal graag wil inskakel by ‘n ondersteunings groep. Ek bly in die vaaldriehoek vereeniging of sal sef ook onder julle naam ‘n groepie stig.
    Het self my baba seun Jason in Augustus 2009 op 7 1/2 maande verwagtend afgestaan en Maddison twee maande gelede.Was net 6 weke verwagtend.Die Here loop grate pad saam my,deur die seer en verlange en sou graag vir ander mammas ook iets wil beteken wat hierdeur gaan

    • August 25, 2010 5:28 pm

      Hi Suria
      Ons is regitg jammer om van Jason en Maddison te hoor, maar bly dat jy ons gevind het. Daar is al ‘n paar vroue wat by ons Facebook groep deel neem, en wat in dieselfde gebied woon. Dit so wonderlik wees as jy ‘n ondersteunings groep sal begin om hulle, en andere, te ondersteun, en om self geondersteun te word. As jy op Facebook is, stuur my (of Graeme) ‘n boodskap met jou e-pos (of e-pos ons direk by en ons sal dan vir jou al die besonderhede stuur. Baie drukies, en gebede, Nicole.

  2. Elana permalink
    March 29, 2018 6:41 pm

    My friend just lost her twin boys on Saturday. They were stillborn at 25 weeks. She and her husband are looking for a support group in Pretoria please.

    • April 10, 2018 7:14 pm

      Hi. So sorry to hear about her loss. How absolutely horrible. Losing one is bad enough, but to lose two… no words. We don’t have a group per se in Pretoria. However, there are various options. She is welcome to call us, or send us her number/ email and we’ll contact her. Our email is bornsleeping[at] Alternatively, she can contact our online group on Facebook (BornSleepingZA). A third alternative is to try contacting Sonja Smith-Janse van Rensburg – you can find her on Facebook as sonja.s.vanrensburg. She runs a funeral home in the Pretoria area, but is an advocate for the rights of the unborn, and she will have contacts in the area. Strength to you as you support your friend!

      • April 10, 2018 7:15 pm

        And sorry for the delay in getting back to you – we have been on holiday!

  3. July 20, 2018 4:34 am

    Good morning,

    My daughter’s little boy, Carter, was stillborn on 22 June. Can you possibly put us in contact with a support group on the West Rand please?

    • July 26, 2018 7:18 am

      Morning. Please contact us at bornsleeping(at) and we can forward your details to our contact in your area. Thanks so much

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