My Brave Face Is Just That

When you don’t know how to deal with your grief… know that you don’t have to do it on your own.

At Beards of Hope, we understand that not all men grieve through crying and talking. For many it is about doing things, keeping busy and being around people that have been where you are.

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Our
Story

Dateline: Winter 2013. The Hawkesbury Jets AFC (formerly known as the Nor-West Jets) in Western Sydney had reached a crossroad in their season and knew bold action was needed for the team to rise from the ashes. An elite few masterminded a cutting-edge scientific equation:

Performance = length of beard x density x 2.1

As the length of their beards grew, so did the overall performance of the team. This inspired the Jets to put their new-found superpower to a greater good in 2014, by teaming up with local charity Bears Of Hope with a “Beards of Hope” fundraiser. Their efforts inspired over 60 men across the country to grow a beard, followed by a record-breaking 2015 season, with $92,402.79 raised.

For close to decade, glorious beards have been grown in support of families suffering baby and infant loss, raising vital funds. Now in 2022, beards still remain at our heart, while we have expanded to provide a full support and advocacy service for our community of dads.

See How We Are There For Dads

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The People Behind The Beards

Beards of Hope exists to help make each day a little more bearable for dads that are dealing with grief. We hope to bring some light and hope into these dark days with support and coping strategies, and to raise community awareness of those struggling with baby and infant loss. Sadly, perinatal death continues to impact many dads and families in Australia.

“My partner Brooke and I have lost two babies this year alone due to early miscarriage. It has been a tough year, but couldn't have done it without the support of family and friends."

Shawn Williams

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“I can't speak for all the dads out there, but for me, the first moment I held my children in my arms after their birth was when I felt I actually became a father. Sure, we see the baby bump growing, and we're involved in the mood swings and weird dietary demands during pregnancy, but it wasn't until I held my firstborn that I became a dad."

Paul Sharman

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“During that time there were countless people that offered their support, and I am very grateful that we live in a country community that cares, and have supportive mates who aren't afraid to ask how I'm going and then are prepared to listen when I need to share..”

Mark Habner

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"We have been touched by the loss of a colleague's, child..”

Lance Fitzpatrick

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“Being the Dad to two amazing daughters it has made me cherish every moment with them as time is precious and it's sad that some parents don't get that experience”

Jason Woodward

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Our Impact & Baby Loss Stats

Beards of Hope exists to help make each day a little more bearable for dads that are dealing with grief. We hope to bring some light and hope into these dark days with support and coping strategies, and to raise community awareness of those struggling with baby and infant loss. Sadly, perinatal death continues to impact many dads and families in Australia.

OF THE 2,897 perinatal deaths in 2019:

75%
or 2183 were
stillbirths
25%
or 17 were Neonatal Deaths

Australia is one of the safest places in the world for a baby to be born, yet tragically 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss. Baby deaths In the perinatal period (from 20 weeks gestation to 28 days after birth) are not uncommon. Of 303,054 beautiful babies born in 2019, perinatal death was the heartbreaking outcome in 2,897 cases (<1%).

Everyday:

6 babies are stillborn
(prior to labour and/or birth)
2 babies die within 28 days of birth
(neonatal death)
Every 3.5 mins:
1 baby dies in early pregnancy, <20 weeks’ gestation

Perinatal Deaths:

75%
or 2183 were
stillbirths
25%
or 17 were Neonatal Deaths
Nearly 2 in 5 deaths occurred at
<22 weeks’ gestation

*Source: 2019 statistics; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Your Impact

Each and every dollar makes a difference. Funds raised from the Beards Of Hope campaign will help keep our support services free and accessible for bereaved families across Australia. Take a look at the life-changing services your efforts will help fund.

$150 = 2  x Parent online Counselling sessions

$200 = 1 x Local Hospital Education service

$350 =  1 x monthly Parent Support Group (psychologist-facilitated)

$1000 = 1 x Regional/Interstate Hospital Education service

$5,000 = 1 x Grief Workshop for parents

$10,000 = 1 x Dad’s Sport and Support Weekend