Splish Splash Splosh raises £2k for SANDS

Elaine and Donal Macauley with Steven Guy of SANDS NI, Claire Sugden MLA and participant Kathryn Coates.
Elaine and Donal Macauley with Steven Guy of SANDS NI, Claire Sugden MLA and participant Kathryn Coates.

A Coleraine couple who have organised a New Year’s Day dip in the freezing sea in aid of SANDS NI for the last five years have presented the stillborn and neo-natal death charity with more than £2,000.

Elaine and Donal Macauley have raised almost £20,000 in total for the local charity and Northern Ireland Network Co-Ordinator Steven Guy thanked everyone for, not only their fundraising, but the awareness they have raised of the charity’s work and support.

Also attending the cheque presentation at the Lodge Hotel was MLA Claire Sugden who supported the event and acted as official starter on the morning of the event known as Splish Splash Splosh.

The donation from the January fundraiser will go towards the funding of a new bereavement suite at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

SANDS NI also provide every hospital in Northern Ireland with a memory box for bereaved parents. The box contains items like a teddy bear, a blanket, a footprint kit and a SD memory card to be used in a camera which the charity has donated to every hospital.

Donal Macauley said: “Losing a child at whatever stage of pregnancy is still a taboo and yet 15 babies die every day in the UK. We need to talk about this more openly.”

He thanked everyone who took part in the New Year’s Day dip in the sea in Portstewart.