Some months ago work began in a quiet corner of Follaton House Arboretum in Totnes, in order to create a baby memorial garden for families who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby.

South Devon Sands, a local branch of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, will now officially open the ‘Littlefootprints Sands Memorial Garden’ on Sunday 1st June.

This, along with many other events, will mark the beginning of Sands Awareness Month which runs from 1st-30th June.

South Hams District Council very kindly gave their blessing for this project to go ahead and donated the land on which it sits.

Councillor Mike Hicks, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Planning, Economy and Community said: “To lose a child must be one of the most awful experiences in life.  The ability to go somewhere quiet to reflect will hopefully be helpful. We are pleased to help in this respect.”

At the garden’s centre will be a stone sculpture of a baby by Sian Walton, a bereaved mother herself. This will be surrounded by custom made engraved stone seats, individual memorials featuring the names of many precious babies and planting designed by local gardener Andre Tranqulini, also a bereaved parent.

Along with generous donations of funds, materials and labour from individuals and businesses the garden has been funded by sponsored trees and shrubs planted in memory of babies.

Chair of South Devon Sands, Becci Eriksson, set up the local group after she lost her son Oskar at birth in June 1999, as she wanted to support other bereaved parents.

“After a lot of hard work and the generosity of various individuals and organisations we are pleased to be able to open the memorial garden.  

“We envisage it to be a special place, where bereaved families and parents can come to spend time thinking about their babies; a place to be and to remember.  Our group will also hold small remembrance events once or twice a year and use it as a place to help raise awareness,” says Becci.

For further information about Devon Sands phone:  07811 412271 Email: info@littlefootprints.org.uk , visit their website: www.littlefootprints.org.uk  or their sponsorship page: sandsmemorialgardentotnes.org.uk

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Notes to editor

The official opening is being held at The Follaton Arboretum, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5NE on Sunday 1st June at 2pm.
 

Refreshments will be available.

An image will be available after the event, upon request.

The garden was developed and managed by Participate Arts, a local social enterprise who develop and deliver art projects together with charities and communities.

For more information, please contact Natalie Cooper, Sands Press & PR Officer, on 0203 598 1959, e: Natalie.cooper@uk-sands.org.