The Scottish Cot Death Trust was founded in 1985 and has three main aims:
- To improve and extend the support for bereaved families
- To raise funds for research into the cause(s) of Cot Death
- To educate the public and health care professionals about Cot Death and ways of reducing the risks
The Trust is the only charity in Scotland working to eradicate Cot Death and support the families suffering this tragedy.
The Scottish Cot Death Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees which includes representatives from a range of professions including medicine, law and nursing as well as bereaved parents.
An Executive Committee is responsible for implementation of the Board’s policies and also advises it on specific issues.
The Trust’s Scientific Advisory Committee reviews all research grant applications and makes recommendations to the Board on which should be funded. It also acts as a source of expert opinion on all medical and scientific issues.
The Scottish Executive provides a small grant (currently £5,000) each year to the Trust. All other funding comes as a result of donations and fundraising. Without these the Trust would be unable to continue its work.
The Trust provides all support, leaflets and education free of charge. However, donations to support the cost are greatly appreciated.
The Trust offers support to all families who have suffered the sudden unexpected death of their baby or young child and to the professionals dealing with such a tragedy.
A range of leaflets have been produced for families and a bereavement support worker is available to visit the family in their home or provide telephone support. In addition, parents can be put in contact with a befriender – a parent who has suffered a Cot Death in the past and who is now willing to offer support and hope to the newly bereaved family.
If and when the parents decide to have another baby, the Trust ensures that a breathing monitor is available for the baby. While this is not a guarantee that their new baby will not die it can provide much needed reassurance for parents who can go to sleep, knowing that they will be alerted if their baby stops breathing.
Since its formation in 1985 the Trust has funded well over £2,000,000 of research into the possible causes of Cot Death in a wide variety of fields including physiology, pathology, epidemiology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology and genetics.
The Trust’s helpline provides expert advice for concerned parents and health care professionals on reducing the risks of Cot Death. Speakers can also be provided for police training, health visitor and midwifery courses and many interested groups such as Rotary, Inner Wheel and Young Women’s Groups.
The Trust publishes a range of information leaflets for general practitioners, health visitors, clergy, police and funeral directors who are involved with sudden infant death.
A newsletter is published twice-yearly which describes the work of the Trust. The following current newsletter is available for download:
March 2005 newsletter (1747KB)