Charity calls for home for touching bereavement cards

Edinburgh Napier graphic design students partner with SANDS Lothians in new project

Date posted

7 May 2018


Last updated

10 May 2021

A local charity which supports parents who have lost a child is looking for a home to stock a range of touching bereavement cards designed by Edinburgh Napier students.

A group of the University’s graphic design students have been working with SANDS Lothians to design a suite of bereavement cards that specifically look at providing comfort and support to families who have been affected by child loss and baby bereavement.

After identifying a lack of cards available that provide the right support and comfort to families affected by child loss, the project saw 29 students design a range of cards which feature a selection of carefully selected words and imagery that broach the delicate subject.

The charity, which offers support to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or soon after birth, has selected a shortlist of cards which it feels both spoke to them and has the ability to permeate with the families it supports.

The first designs on this shortlist are now on sale through the SANDS Lothians website and within its shop on the city’s South Clerk Street. The cards will be on sale all year round, with 100% of the work donated to the charity by the graphic design students.

Now, they’re looking for shops in Edinburgh and the Lothians to support the project by stocking the cards, bringing them to a wider audience.

The team behind the project...

Nicola Welsh, chief executive of SANDS Lothians, said: “We are so grateful to the Edinburgh Napier students for the time taken and the thought put into this project. The level of research and input they have provided is really touching and I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.

“We have selected a range of cards that we believe capture the brief perfectly. Empathy cards for those affected by child loss require a different approach to a normal sympathy card and we’ve chosen a selection that we feel will really speak to the families we support; providing comfort really is at the heart that all the charity does. We are hopeful local card shops and retailers might consider stocking these compassionate and thoughtful cards.”

The project has been spearheaded by Catalina Ospina who herself sadly lost twin boys because of premature birth while working for Edinburgh Napier in 2015. The SANDS Lothians volunteer has used her own experience to shape the project for the benefit of others similarly affected.

She said: “After my twins sadly passed away, we received several sympathy cards but – maybe because of the shock – none of them truly spoke to me. Although packed with good intentions, they didn’t feel genuine or real.

“A few months later, as I was receiving support from SANDS Lothians, I had my eureka moment. The charity needed something that could help it raise funds alongside something that could help raise awareness about baby loss. The answer ticked all the boxes; why not create our own empathy cards?

“There are really no words to describe the pain that bereaved parents have to overcome but I was so impressed and pleased with the results. The cards capture perfectly the ‘never right words’. They are extremely tasteful and respectful. I love them to pieces and could not be more proud of the students. They have connected with the bereaved families remarkably well.”

Peter Buwert, lecturer in Graphic Design at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Designing an empathy card that provides comfort and support to those affected by child loss is a challenging and delicate brief which requires careful selection of words and imagery. Although holding similarities in their end goal, each of the cards our students developed were unique in their own way and we’re delighted that the first designs are now on sale.

“Partnering with a charity such as SANDS Lothians is a rewarding way for our students to gain valuable work experience and to develop their portfolio alongside helping a very worthwhile cause.”

Study design at Edinburgh Napier