A quiet area of Follaton Arboretum in Totnes is being dedicated as a special memorial garden to provide solace to those parents and families who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby. The garden is being created by the South Devon Baby loss Support group, the local branch of SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) and will the only one of its kind in the South West.
The garden opens on the 1st June 2014, as part of the SANDS awareness month, it will feature three custom made engraved stone seats, a specially commissioned sculpture by local artist and bereaved mother Sian Walton, small individual memorials made in collaboration with bereaved families and paths and specially designed planting by local gardener bereaved father Andre Tranqulini.
The garden will be a special place, where bereaved families and parents can come and spend some time thinking about their babies. It will also be a place where remembrance events will be held once or twice a year and a place where they can help raise awareness.
Every day in the UK 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth. The South Devon SANDS group meet monthly in Totnes to share experiences and seek support; more than 100 families have sought solace in this local support group in the last 12 years since it was founded. The SANDS charity has three core aims:
– To support anyone affected by the death of a baby
– Promoting research to help reduce the number of baby deaths
– To work with healthcare professionals to continue to improve the quality of bereavement care
The death of a baby is devastating. It is a grief that is not easily shared or understood unless you have been there.
The creation of this garden gives the opportunity to sponsor a tree or plant in the memory of a loved one or to show your support to those families that have lost a baby, details of how to do this can be found on the website http//sandsmemorialgardentotne
The group can be contacted via the website http://www.littlefootprints.org.uk/ or find us on Facebook ‘Littlefootprints South Devon SANDS’. Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) website www.uk-sands.org