Chief Executive Officer, SiMBA
Sara Fitzsimmons is the Executive Charity Director and co-founder of the SiMBA charity.
Sara until November 2017 practised as a midwife in Simpsons, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh for 21 years, although she stepped down from the NHS she continues as a registered midwife supporting parents and speaking at study days, conferences and seminars.
Sara has run SiMBA since October 2005.
Sara was honored to be the winner of the Scottish Health Awards 2006 for Women and Children’s Services; the Charity Champions Inspiration Award 2015; a finalist in the NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards 2016, winner of the Daily Record Caring Hero award for 2016 and received an MBE for her services to bereaved families in March 2018.
“In October 2005 I approached friends with an idea. I saw firsthand the devastation that parents felt when they lost their baby; watching them leave the hospital with nothing more than a brown paper envelope and a Polaroid picture was heartbreaking. I wanted to change and challenge the system; I wanted to help these families and give them much more. Our first fundraising event raised enough money to buy 100 Memory Boxes which we designed carefully and donated to Simpson's maternity unit in 2006.” SiMBA’s Memory Boxes are now donated to over 200 wards across the UK, Ireland and even as far as Saudi Arabia, our Memory Boxes are given to individuals on request.
Sara oversaw the first family room refurbishment in Simpsons maternity in the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh; set up the first support group in the Scottish Borders ,worked with a designer to create the blueprint for the first Tree of Tranquility and established multi agency training (in conjunction with Barnardos, Child Bereavement UK, Royal Hospital for Sick Kids and CHAS) on patient centered bereavement care. Sara also runs very successful drop in sessions in wards where we supply our Memory Boxes to offering explanation and feedback so our boxes are offered in the same way to every parent. Sara also spends a lot of time with student midwives, the future generation giving support to parents.
Sara is passionate about bereavement care and getting it right for every family. Sara was also invited to represent SiMBA on the advisory committee for The Scottish Government during the Mortonhall Enquiry led by Dame Eilish which led to her being invited to be part of Lord Bonomy's National Committee and sub committees.
“When a parent has been told that their baby has died it is completely unexpected, and is totally life changing - SiMBA can help to guide families through their darkest days, letting them know that they are not on their own.”
Sara is married to her very supportive husband Grant and is almost finished her William Grant MBA25 course at Strathclyde University in business administration.T: 0131 353 0055