01:15PM, Friday 27 July 2018
A support group unveiled a memorial tree for people who have suffered the loss of a baby on Sunday.
Berkshire Sands offers support to anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby and is an arm of the national charity Sands (the stillbirth and neonatal death charity).
The ribbon at Ray Mill Island in Boulters Lock was cut by the Royal Borough Mayor, Cllr Paul Lion (Con, Boyn Hill), with assistance from two rainbow babies – children born to a family following the loss of an infant.
Prior to the event, people ordered personalised leaves in memory of their baby and on Sunday 30 leaves were securely added to the tree.
Tim and Alison Beavan attended the unveiling of the tree with their 20-month-old son Sebastian and hung an engraved leaf for their first-born daughter, Jemima.
Despite ‘an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy’ Alison and Tim found out two days before Alison’s due date in October 2015 that they had lost Jemima.
Alison said: “We spent the two days following her birth in hospital cuddling her, talking to her and taking in every part of our beautiful baby girl. The pain of leaving her at the hospital, planning her funeral and facing life ahead with an empty nursery was challenging, isolating and deeply traumatic.
“The support that Sands offers to people like us in this situation has been invaluable and the new memorial tree in its attractive and peaceful setting will give Tim, myself and Jemima's little brother, Sebastian, somewhere special to go and remember her, as well as raising awareness for this taboo topic.”
To purchase a leaf for the memorial tree email berkshiresandstree@ gmail.com and to donate towards the cost of the tree go to https://www.justgiving. com/fundraising/sands-berkshire-memorial-tree
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