23rd Mar 2017

Community project to create special baby memorial garden at the Royal Bolton Hospital

At the Royal Bolton Hospital the birth of a baby is usually a happy event however, for some parents, sadly things don’t always go according to plan.

Many bereaved parents want the opportunity to commemorate their lost baby, and so a beautiful memorial garden is being created in the hospital grounds where families can arrange for a plaque to be placed.

The new garden enhances a previous small memorial area, and is very much a community project being created with input from donations, volunteers, support from local businesses, students from the University of Bolton, hospital staff and some bereaved parents. 

The landscaping and planting will provide a tranquil area for reflection with seating, artwork designed by the winner of a competition at the University, and will incorporate the plaques.

The garden as it is now.

Seema Kala, Bereavement Midwife at the Princess Anne Maternity Unit, said:  "Losing a baby is very, very difficult for families, but for many finding a way to commemorate their child can be helpful.”

Bereavement Midwife Michelle Densham added:  "This garden will provide a peaceful place where parents can place a plaque, or just sit and think a while. We are so grateful to all the individuals and organisations who are helping us to create the garden.”
Seddon Construction are the main partners with the hospital in planning and creating the project.

Nicola Hodkinson, Business Services Director at Seddon, said:  "We’re delighted to be able to work with the hospital to create a space where bereaved families can take the time to reflect and commemorate their loved ones. The project will make a real difference to families at their time of need and we had no hesitation in offering our expertise and support.”

Other organisations who are involved include Bolton Lads and Girls Club. A group of 15 youngsters cleared weeds, shrubs and stones from the site to prepare it for construction.

The garden as it is now.

Volunteers from community group Groundwork will carry out the hard landscaping and provide a horticultural architect to develop the planting.

Intercity Technologies (Imerja) have provided funding for the plants and to cover the cost of the horticultural architect. Members of their staff will also help with the planting.

Inspire, a community walking group set up by three university students, raised £500 for the project with a sponsored walk up Mount Snowdon.

And importantly, the views of parents are being taken into account. Claire Lister and Matt Vause wanted to get involved after they lost their baby Mia Elizabeth. Claire organised a ladies’ night and a fundraising page with proceeds going to the project. 

It is hoped that the garden will be finished by early summer. Further information about the plaques will be released before then. 

We are delighted to announce that Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s Charitable Fund has bagged £5,000 from a Tesco funding scheme which will go directly towards funding the baby memorial garden.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of up to £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to thousands of  local community projects every year.

Voting ran in stores throughout February with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out. Many thanks to everyone who voted for our baby memorial garden; work will now begin on bringing the project to life.


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