A garden where memories live on
firstname.lastname@example.org Families gathered in Ashford on Sunday for the opening of the town’s baby memorial garden.
More than 400 people attended the ceremony, which was headed by former Mayor of Ashford, Cllr Bob Davidson and Jan VanZyl , the deputy chief executive of baby death charity Sands UK.
Mother Emma Oram , who lost her baby Liam nine years, also spoke at the opening, and along with her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, released a white dove to symbolise the love parents have for their children.
Emma, one of the main organisers and fundraisers for the garden, said at the opening: “Today is an extra special day for me. It is nine years to the day since we lost Liam, who was born stillborn at 40 weeks. I didn’t know where to turn.
“I found out about a garden in Hemel Hempstead and often went there to think about Liam. It gave me great comfort. When I moved to Kent I realised there was nothing similar in Ashford.
“The garden is now open and I, and lots of other people, come here to think, sometimes with the children, and sometimes just on my own.”
After the official opening, guests were invited to release an environmentally friendly balloon into the sky, while the song Over the Rainbow played.
The opening of the garden, in the Ashford Memorial Garden in Church Road, was made possible by Emma and volunteers from the Kent Sands group.
The aim of the garden, which includes 60 stones recording the names of babies who have died, is to give parents who have lost a child a place to go to remember them. Anyone who would like to know more about the garden should contact the group at email@example.com or on 01233 643976.
Cllr Bob Davidson co-ordinates the balloon release at the opening of the baby memorial garden
Emma Oram who lost her baby Liam - the garden is a place to come and think
Tributes on the light tree
Emotional moment for Babs and Stephen Pointer