Have You Heard of SUDC?
Welcome to ‘The Kind Link’ series. We will be exploring the challenges, motivations and goals of charities with consideration to the Covid-19 situation. Non-profits are a key part of our societies as they are the link between those who want to help and those who need to be helped.
Nikki Speed and two other bereaved parents founded Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood UK (SUDC UK). Nikki lost her daughter just before Christmas of 2013 which presented her a new, isolating phenomenon. Upon finding and relating with one another about their children, they were inspired to found this dedicated charity in 2017 in the UK.
SUDC is a commonly unheard-of category of death of children between the ages of 1 and 18.
It’s the fifth leading cause of death in toddlers, between 1 to 4 years
Yet even with such severe statistics, it remains to have such a lack of recognition. It’s a cause of death that most often occurs in children’s sleep and continues to be unexplainable even after completion of a full investigation. With the lack of understanding, there is no predictability even from those in the medical field.
What does SUDC UK do?
The goal of SUDC UK is to increase medical comprehension of the issue and ultimately make it predictable. Their values are to support those who it affects as well as increasing public awareness. Furthermore, funding raised supplements research. They want to increase the use of available resources, via their website, in addition to seeking support services from those who understand.
Beneficiaries are at the heart of everything SUDC UK does. Families are referred to free bereavement support provided by the SUDC Foundation, who have already supported over 1,000 families. Both professional and peer support and advocacy are provided which allows individuals to connect as a network of like-minded people. The SUDC Foundation and SUDC UK support the SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative (SUDC RRC), which aims to further understanding of these deaths. Currently, SUDC UK is in the act of streamlining and simplifying their processes.
How have recent events changed their activities?
During the pandemic, alike to most, SUDC UK and their families have been inhibited from the ‘normal’ day-to-day. Unfortunately, their annual, ‘Family Day’ at Whipsnade Zoo had to be cancelled. Though, families decided to collaborate virtually: they crafted stars to hang on trees for the Stars for our Children campaign. Moreover, there was high participation in the #TwoPointSixChallenge this year. A great example was the effort of the NHS vascular department at Southampton University. Activities ranged from cartwheeling 26 times to growing a moustache which raised nearly £3,000!
Typically, Nikki and her team’s operations would be both in-person and virtual meaning that the increased necessity of digitalization was a limiting issue. However, their community has been affected by isolation and escalated childcare needs. To increase spirits, SUDC UK pursues regular communications via social media and Zoom ensuring the cause of remembering children and sharing continued fundraising achievements continues.
The struggles that SUDC UK has endured have been a need for time-management and being stretched for people and resources. Although, Nikki said KindLink has enabled her and the team to alleviate stresses associated with Covid-19 and
… gives me time for the other important things that I want to get on with!
It has allowed families and staff to monitor and view everything associated with fundraising all in one place.
Across the world, we’ve all been affected by Covid-19, albeit in varying ways and degrees. It’s important to remember, however, that all the causes that existed prior to the crisis have not stopped. Most have changed to accommodate new needs and even expanded and in understanding this; we can start working together to benefit everyone and help the helpless.
Nikki Speed, Co-Founder of SUDC UK