A gar­den where mem­o­ries live on

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Families Gather For Opening Of Baby Memorial - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

saw­illiams@thek­m­group.co.uk 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 ash­ford­baby­gar­den@hot­mail.co.uk or on 01233 643976.

Pic­tures: Gary Browne FM2683222

Cllr Bob David­son co-or­di­nates the bal­loon re­lease at the open­ing of the baby me­mo­rial gar­den

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Emma Oram who lost her baby Liam - the gar­den is a place to come and think

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Trib­utes on the light tree

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Emo­tional mo­ment for Babs and Stephen Pointer

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