Sandy Bear

Fun Run

Fun Run

Sandy Bear has recently hosted its first fun run. The event was set up to raise awareness of the charity and the crucial work we do supporting Children, Young People and Families leading up to and following a bereavement. It was also an opportunity to raise some much-needed cash to help us continue our work and we made over £3,000 from the event.

A massive Thank you to the fantastic volunteers who supported us in the lead up to and during the event itself. Our own volunteers and those from Milford Waterfront Park run ensured everyone was safe, and that the event went well, despite a few spots of rain!

We also had support from the Port of Milford Haven who allowed us to hold the event and even supported us with some funding to put together the goody bags and medals that welcomed participants as they crossed the finish line. Local businesses also donated to fill goody bags, gave items for our hamper raffle, and even some discounts for supporters who shopped or ate along the waterfront during the day.

As always, our supporters didn’t let us down, whether it was sponsoring our runners, taking part themselves, or just showing up in yellow to raise our profile. Seasoned runners, young ones in buggies, joggers, walkers; even dogs and teddy bears took part.

Look out for future events that you can support, we couldn’t do it without you, Diolch.

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Donation to ‘beacon of light’ children’s charity

national grid visit

A children’s bereavement charity in Pembrokeshire has been nominated by staff from National Grid Electricity Distribution to receive a charity donation – and a follow up visit!

Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity was chosen by members of National Grid’s West Wales team to receive the donation of £1,000. Team Manager Mark Phillips and Team Support Gemma Amos met with Sandy Bear staff to learn more about the work they do to support young people who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Mark said: “It really was a pleasure to meet the team and learn how they can help through so many ways; memory boxes, counselling, sharing of experiences, encouraging expression of thoughts and feelings through arts and crafts. The large number of children and relatives they have helped is amazing, truly a humbling experience to hear what they do.”

The donation was made as a result of an internal incentive scheme.

National Grid’s West Wales Distribution Manager Ryan Davies added: “Sandy Bear was chosen as it is a beacon of light for children who are experiencing difficult times. With our donation we hope that it allows them to continue their fantastic work which provides that much needed support.”

During the past 12 months, Sandy Bear has supported 312 children and young people. 

Karen Codd, Clinical Lead and Co-Founder at Sandy Bear, said: “We are delighted to have been nominated to receive £1,000 from National Grid. We have been approached by a number of professionals who would like to increase their skills and knowledge when working with bereaved children and young people. This donation will allow us to purchase resources to deliver training sessions to at least 30 professionals within Pembrokeshire. These sessions will equip them with the skills to increase their confidence to have open and honest conversations when they are needed the most.”

Picture shows (left to right): Mark Phillips (National Grid), Janine Lewis (Sandy Bear), Gemma Amos (National Grid) and Hannah Beer (Sandy Bear)

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Women in Wales Charity Donates £30,000 to Children’s Projects in Wales


Raising funds for children’s projects in Wales is at the heart of the Women in Wales committee and on 13 July trustees of the charity were delighted and proud to donate £30,000 to fund five children’s projects in Wales.

Cheques were presented at Black Pool Mill, Narberth as follows:

  1. £7,000 to Dreams & Wishes  
  2. £8,000 to Pembrokeshire Food Story
  3. £5,000 to Ty Hafan
  4. £6,000 to Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity
  5. £3,000 to Pembrokeshire Riding for the Disabled
  6. A donation of £1,000 was also to MPCT.

The money was raised at the 29th annual Women in Wales Luncheon on Friday 12 May at the Mercure Holland House Hotel. Hosted by Sian Lloyd, journalist and presenter, 300 guests enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment and fundraising activities.

Alison Tod, couture milliner and one of the country’s leading hat makers and designers, was interviewed by Huw Rees, designer and TV presenter and gave an inspirational, emotional and humorous insight into her career spanning more than 40 years. During the Q&A session models displayed some of Alison’s fabulous hat creations.  

The wonderful auction provided money can’t buy items and experiences. The raffle was exceptional this year with over 50 amazing prizes all kindly donated by businesses and supporters of this annual event. 

A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors and supporters – lunch headline sponsors Sykes Holiday Cottages, support sponsors JCP Solicitors and City Energy Network, also Lyons Bowe Solicitors, Porsche Cardiff Centre and LHP Accountants. In the Welsh Wind Distillery kindly donated table gifts.

Chair of Women in Wales, Betsan Powell said, “The Women in Wales lunch has become a firm fixture in the social calendar of women from all walks of life. The success of the event is due to a hardworking committee and the support of businesses up and down the country, working together to fund children’s projects in Wales.”

The trustees are now busy planning the 30th Anniversary Lunch to be held in April 2024. Further details will be on the WIW website shortly.

Women in Wales Charity Donates £30,000 to Children’s Projects in Wales Read More »

Lee Barnett appointed CEO at Sandy Bear

Lee Barnett has been newly appointed as Sandy Bear’s Chief Executive Officer. Lee joins at an exciting time for the charity to support the growing need of bereavement services for children and young people in Pembrokeshire and throughout Wales. Lee will be further developing the charity by building relationships with partners, supporters and funders to enhance and expand the vital work of Sandy Bear.

Lee brings with him experience of working within statutory and voluntary sector organisations and has a passion of supporting people, projects and organisations. As the charities first CEO, Lee has the important challenge of working with Sandy Bear to develop sustainable approaches to ensure they continue to thrive and can support beneficiaries within their current geographic area of Pembrokeshire and the hopes of providing an all-Wales service over the coming years.

The role of CEO has been funded by a number of projects, including an award from Postcode Community Trust. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Sandy Bear are part of a pilot project to allow organisations to address the needs they feel are relevant and urgent. All organisations funded by this project support people’s mental health and wellbeing. This award has also funded disability support within the workplace and other vital support functions that enable us to support our families.

Lee, Chief Executive Officer, says “I am really excited about the role and challenge ahead. The work Sandy Bear does across Pembrokeshire and its pilot projects within Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire are inspirational and life changing for our beneficiaries. Working closely with our amazing volunteers, staff and supporters, we hope that our vision where all children and young people, wherever they live in Wales can access our services and support.” 

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have now raised over £1.1 billion to support thousands of charities and local good causes.

Lee Barnett appointed CEO at Sandy Bear Read More »

Skydive for Sandy Bear!


Fancy a challenge, some fun and want to raise money for a local charity?

We are hosting an adrenaline filled Skydive Day at Go Skydive in Swansea ( on Saturday the 15th of July 2023!

The cost:
To take part in a charity skydive, you are required to pay £230 which is the cost of the skydive. You are to pay this from your sponsorship money. A £50 deposit is required upon booking your place (see information below). The deposit is to be paid for by yourself/the jumper. £180 is then required to be paid on the day by the charity through your sponsorship.

It is a requirement that you raise a minimum of £200 which will go to Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity on top of the £230 cost of the skydive.

The full cost of the day is £430 (£230 to carry out the skydive and £200 sponsorship/donation). This cost will be monitored by Hannah Beer, the Charity Coordinator alongside Go Skydive. If you do not raise this amount of money, the skydive will not take place.

All sponsorship is to be raised via Sandy Bear’s Enthuse page, here: £380 is the minimum amount which needs to be raised on this platform (this is the full cost of the day minus the deposit which you are expected to pay at the time of book).

The payment for your jump includes the instructor payment & third party insurance.

If you raise more money, Sandy Bear will receive a bigger donation!

How to sign up:
If you would like to sign up to skydive for Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity, please email who is able to provide you with the contact to pay your £50 deposit and receive your booking forms.

We request that you read all forms thoroughly before completing them.

EVERYONE has to fill out a medical form. You may require a doctor to sign & stamp your form. Anyone aged 16 or 17 will require the signature of a parent or legal guardian.

EVERYONE has to fill out the British Skydiving Application for Student Provisional Membership & Agreement Form. Anyone aged 16 or 17 will require the signature of a parent or legal guardian on this form.

Important information:

Parachuting does have an element of risk which you accept by signing the terms and conditions in the information pack and the student training record sheet on the day of the jump. All staff ensure training is to the highest possible standard, with safety being the number one priority. If any individual is considered not capable of undertaking the planned parachute descent, before or after training, the individual will not be allowed to complete the jump. Go Skydive reserve the right to decline anyone they consider unsuitable to jump on the day, even if they are within the weight restrictions.

Timings of the jump:
Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity have been allocated the time slot from 12pm. There are 20 spaces allocated at present. You need to allocate at least half a day after training for the jump and sometimes it could be longer. It is impossible to give any ideas of jump timings.

Weather restrictions:
Go Skydive will send out a text/email the day before saying either the jump is planned to go ahead or cancelled due to the weather. This decision is not made until 5pm the day before the jump is due to take place. On very rare occasions they have sent messages out on the day of the jump if the weather has changed drastically overnight.
If you are booking accommodation the day before or after the jump bear in mind that this is a weather dependant sport and forecasts can change at short notice.
Go Skydive and Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity are not responsible for your costs incurred if the jump is cancelled.

Weight restrictions:
Go Skydive allow jumpers to weigh up to 18 stone. If you weigh up to 15 stone, the cost remains at £230. If you weigh up to 18 stone, there is a £10 surcharge for every stone over 15. (All weights are fully clothed)

Health restrictions:
You must read the medical form carefully. If you have had, or currently have, any of the conditions listed on the form, you will be required to complete your medical form with your doctor who will have to sign and stamp the form upon completion.

If you suffer from Asthma there is an extra form that you will need your GP to sign and stamp alongside the medical form.

It is the policy of Go Skydive to not allow anyone who uses or relies on a wheelchair to undertake a tandem skydive.

There is no upper age limit for the tandem skydives, however if you are aged 60 or over you will be required to attend the Go Skydive centre in Swansea for a pre-assessment before your booking is accepted.

If you rely on walking aids for your mobility, then you will be required to attend the Go Skydive centre in Swansea for a pre-assessment before your booking is accepted.

Pre assessments are normally done on a Monday or Friday.

Useful links/information:

An FAQs page about the skydive can be found here:
There are options to request pictures and filming throughout your jump for an additional cost. More information about this can be found here:
The cost of this will not be paid for from your sponsorship money.

Skydive for Sandy Bear! Read More »

Job vacancy – Chief Executive Officer

ceo vacancy

Sandy Bear are seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity exists to improve the life outcomes of children and young people who have been bereaved by the death of a significant person in their lives. They provide a service to toddlers, children and young people up to the age of 18.

We work directly with families, professionals/multi agency such as police, teachers, and health personnel, advising how best to support children and families who are facing or have experienced bereavement.

The board of trustees are looking for an exceptional leader an individual who is eager to be part of the next exciting phase of our wonderful Charity’s development.

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • Clear and inspirational leadership and people management skills including the ability to enthuse, motivate and deliver results
  • Strong track record of securing funding in a tough financial climate
  • Proven ability to think strategically and to communicate the strategic vision
  • Sound financial acumen and the ability to set and manage budgets
  • Demonstrable experience in leading change
  • Track record in developing both restricted and unrestricted funding and income streams

The successful candidate will be an ambassador for the charity and develop and build relationships with partners, supporters, funders, and potential funders to maximise opportunities for income generation. You will be skilled at developing income generation strategies to maintain and enhance the level of funding from existing sources and by developing new funding streams. The successful candidate will have personal drive, energy, integrity, adaptability, and sense of responsibility, you will be an inspirational leader with previous experience of providing management supervision to staff. You will have previous experience of the charitable or social care sector.

If you feel you have the experience to join this charity, we would like to hear from you. For more information, please contact Sandra Smith, at Charisma Charity Recruitment, or 01962 813300.

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law.

To apply, please submit your CV and supporting statement via the Charisma Charity Recruitment website here:

Download the full job description in Word format:

(N.B. Please ignore the closing date in the forms, closing date has been extended to 20th March 2023)

Job vacancy – Chief Executive Officer Read More »

Sandy Bear receives £274 donation from South Pembrokeshire Golf Club

south pembs golf club

South Pembrokeshire’s Golf Club held their Senior Section’s Captain’s Day on October 18th year. Competitions are held on a regular basis at the golf club, but the Senior’s Captain has the chance to raise money at the Captain’s Day for a chosen local charity and for 2022, captain Adrian Jurd chose Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity.

On the day of the event, a raffle was held where members of the golf club donated a variety of different prizes. The raffle raised a total of £274 which will go towards resources used to support bereaved children and young people in our county. These include specialist advice/support books which are posted out to families shortly after a referral is received. These books provide advice to a vast number of needs including, very young children, teenagers, bereavements by suicide and supporting those with additional learning needs.

Adrian Jurd, South Pembrokeshie Golf Clubs Senior’s Captain says, “I would like to thank all of the senior’s section members for their support at my Captain’s Day. This support allowed us to raise £274 for Sandy Bear which is a charity that provides help to many young people who are facing a bereavement which is something we all experience within our lives.”

Jenna Swenson, Bereavement Practitioner at Sandy Bear says, “The support which we receive from our community is so kind and greatly received at Sandy Bear. We love to hear about the different fundraisers which are carried out around Pembrokeshire on our behalf as they help us to continue to deliver the vital support to over 200 children, young people and their families.

Sandy Bear receives £274 donation from South Pembrokeshire Golf Club Read More »

Sandy Bear receives £45,178 from Valero


Valero’s 2022 UK Benefit for Children Classic was held for the 9th time this summer, at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, to raise money for children’s charities. The overall event raised £355,000, which goes towards supporting children’s charities across the UK.

Money is raised via sponsorship, with some sponsors able to nominate their own preferred charity to receive a donation from the money raised. The event is run by Valero’s head office in London alongside the Valero refinery in Pembroke. The money that’s raised gets split between both sites. Each site then chooses which charities they want the money to go to. Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity has benefited from this event and has received a generous donation of £45,178.

The event has grown in size over that last nine years and has raised over £1.6 million to date.  Next year will be the 10th anniversary and they hope to hit the £2 million milestone!

Karen Codd and Anita Hicks, Clinical Leads of Sandy Bear said, “We are so grateful for the amazing support which we receive from Valero and their colleagues. This money will allow us to help over 200 bereaved children and young people within Pembrokeshire this year. This donation will allow us to continue to provide families with specialist books, memory boxes and other resources, as well as providing one-to-one support and peer group support.”

Maria James, Valero’s Benefit for Children Classic Event Manager, said, “This year’s event was amazing – it gets bigger and better each year. Thank you to everyone who took part, who gave up their time to volunteer, and to all the charities we’ve been able to support for providing such vital services for children and their families across the UK.”


Sandy Bear receives £45,178 from Valero Read More »

Jenna Swenson, new Bereavement Practitioner at Sandy Bear

JennaJenna Swenson appointed new Bereavement Practitioner at Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity.

Jenna Swenson has joined the Sandy Bear team as a new Bereavement Practitioner. Jenna has joined at a vitally important time for the charity as it has launched a pilot project, funded by Welsh Government, to support children, young people and their families, in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, who have been bereaved through suicide.

Jenna has previously worked within educational settings for the last ten years. Her most recent post, before joining Sandy Bear, was working as a Well-being and Inclusion officer, within a Pembrokeshire school, where she supported children with additional learning needs.

This Bereavement Practitioner role has been funded by Welsh Government. This funding has stemmed from the National Bereavement Support Grant following the launch of the National Framework for the Delivery of Bereavement Care in Wales. In Pembrokeshire, over a 2-year period, Sandy Bear received 40 referrals for children and young people suffering following a death through suicide of a special person in their lives. The pilot project will support up to 16 children and young people (aged 5-18) who live in Ceredigion/Carmarthenshire who have been affected by death through suicide. This means that Sandy Bear is reaching more bereaved children and young people by working in new geographical areas.

Jenna says, “The well-being and happiness of children and young people is paramount to allow them to live healthy lives. Following my role as a Well-being an Inclusion Officer, I feel privileged to be able to support children further at Sandy Bear.”

Anita Hicks and Karen Codd, Co-Founders and Clinical Leads at Sandy Bear says. “We are delighted to have recruited Jenna into the Sandy Bear team. We are sure that her skills and bubbly personality will help her to settle into her role quickly. We would also like to thank Welsh Government who have funded this post as they are allowing us to embark on an exciting new journey for our charity.”

Jenna Swenson, new Bereavement Practitioner at Sandy Bear Read More »

Why I Volunteer – Diane’s Story

Diane became a volunteer after her retirement from working as a nurse within the NHS with acutely ill children in the hospital and community. Diane believed that a volunteering role with Sandy Bear was something she could do that was worthwhile following her retirement.

Diane went through training, provided by Anita and Karen, the Clinical Leads of Sandy Bear, in January 2019 and discusses openly why she volunteers.

“I was aware that the correct care of children and young people allows for a more rounded adulthood. Thus, I knew that proper bereavement care can help to prevent mental health issues later in life. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to volunteer.”

Diane shared how rewarding it is to be a part of the bereavement support groups with the children aged 11 years and younger. “To see these young people, who are obviously grieving, share their stories with me is very humbling. I see them at their first session where they are worried, frightened and tearful and I help them to ‘cope with life’ and have fun again. We undertake lots of activities within the group sessions which have beneficial effects on the children and young people.”

As well as volunteering within the bereavement support groups, Diane also helps at our therapeutic events with the children, young people and their families.

“Prior to being part of the Sandy Bear family, I had minimal contact with close, personal grief. Through contact and education with the young people about the grieving process, my personal life has been enhanced. My volunteering role has enabled me to view life and death in a different way which has had a positive effect on my day-to-day living.”

Why I Volunteer – Diane’s Story Read More »

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