The Lullaby Trust Board of Trustees met on Tuesday 21st March to discuss whether to proceed to merge with Sands, The Board unanimously took the decision to proceed to the next stage. The Sands Board of Trustees met on Saturday 24th March and took a majority decision not to proceed with a merger.
Terry Hebden, Chairman of The Lullaby Trust said: “We are disappointed that the merger is not progressing but we respect the decision of the Sand’s Board. Both charities will continue to work closely together to reduce infant mortality and ensure that families receive the best possible bereavement support in the future.”
Francine Bates, Chief Executive said: “This has been a positive and worthwhile process and I am grateful for the active engagement of staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity. Although the decision is not the one we wanted, our mission remains the same. The Lullaby Trust will continue to work hard to reduce the number of sudden infant deaths and ensure that every family affected by bereavement gets the best possible support. I am grateful to Sand’s CEO, Clea Harmer for her commitment to opening up this debate within our two organisations. The two charities will continue to collaborate closely in the future.”
The Lullaby Trust approached Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity early last year to see if they would be willing to explore a merger between the two charities. The Lullaby Trust, which has achieved a huge reduction in the number of sudden infant deaths since it was founded in 1971, believes that both charities shared a very similar mission and that together the two charities could achieve significant impact to further reduce the numbers of babies dying in the UK and support more bereaved parents. The Lullaby Trust was not seeking a merger because the charity was in financial difficulty.
The Lullaby Trust undertook an extensive consultation with supporters and stakeholders over 4 months to see whether a merger was a good idea. In response to a wide ranging survey, 85% of supporters were positive about the merger. The charity also secured independent professional advice which identified that the merger would have a beneficial impact.