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Issue:- 17 April 2014

'Baby garden' dedicated at Southport crematorium

A woodland garden of remembrance for babies lost in early pregnancy was dedicated at Southport Crematorium on Wednesday, 9 April 2014. The service was conducted by the Rev Martin Abrams, chaplain at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. It was attended by representatives of the Trust, Sefton Council, Scarisbrick Parish Council and Clare Birley, from the local branch of the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society.

The centrepiece of the "Forget-me-Not Glade" is a stone bird bath paid for by an anonymous Southport benefactor.

Mr Abrams said cremation services had been held on the last Wednesday of each month at the crematorium since 2009 for parents who had experienced an early pregnancy loss. Previously, they were held at Emmanuel Church in Southport and the Ormskirk Parish Church.  "Since then, the Trust has been working with the Council at ways to create a focus for a baby garden in the crematorium woodlands," he said. "Last year we were fortunate to secure a charitable donation that allowed us to purchase a memorial bird bath."

At the end of each monthly crematorium service, families will be invited into the garden and invited to plant bulbs or sow forget-me-not seeds "as a symbol and sign of hope."  At a later date, any ash remaining from the cremation may be scattered in the garden. 

As well as being used as a place of significance for early pregnancy loss, the garden will also be a focus for when a service is requested at the crematorium after either a loss later in pregnancy or a still birth. 

Mr Abrams added:- "Our hope is that the garden will become a helpful, peaceful place for bereaved parents and their families and friends."

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