The Sands Challenge Series is a set of endurance events I will complete in 2013 to help raise much needed awareness and funds for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
Sands supports anyone affected by the death of a baby and promotes research to reduce the loss of babies' lives. Every day in the UK, 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth - that's over 6,500 a year and is one of the highest stillbirth rates in Europe.
The challenge will start in April with a 65-mile cycle from London to Brighton, followed by two longer distance sportives in May and July - the 120-Mile Somerset Gran Fondo and the 120-mile overnight Dunwich Dynamo - ending with the Great South Run in Southsea, Portsmouth in October.
Find out more at www.nathanperrott.com
Some Key Facts
- 17 babies die every day in the UK (11 are stillbirths, 6 are neonatal deaths) over 6,500 baby deaths a year - the equivalent of 16 jumbo jets crashing every year with no survivors.
- Ten times more babies are stillborn than die of cot death every year in the UK.
- The stillbirth rate has remained almost unchanged for the past 10 years. (CMACE)
- The UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates when compared to similar high income countries. (The Lancet Medical Journal, Stillbirth Series, April 2011: Britain ranked 33rd out of 35 similar countries, ie second from bottom).
- 1 in every 200 babies are stillborn in the UK
- 1 in every 300 babies born in the UK die in the first four weeks of life
- For over half of all stilllbirths the cause remains unexplained. These babies are born perfectly formed, with no clear reason why they died. We need to understand what is causing these deaths.
- The majority of unexplained stillbirths are in pregnancies that were previously considered low risk. We need better ways to identify babies who are at risk.
- 1 in 5 stillborn babies is much smaller than they should be, yet we have no good method to detect these babies in the womb and act to deliver them before they die.
- Stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy
- Neonatal death is when a baby is born alive but dies within the first 28 days of life