Memorial garden for babies in Hartlepool given makeover at Stranton Cemetery

A special place for families to remember babies who have tragically passed away has been blessed after volunteers came together to give it a much-needed revamp.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 4:45 pm

Hartlepool Carers and Hartlepool Baby Bereavement Group teamed up to tidy up Stranton Cemetery’s Baby Memorial Garden.

For ten days, volunteers from both organisations together with support from a host of others spruced up the garden.

Work included cleaning the memorial plaques, creating a new gravel border, cleaning and repaired stone work and the path, planted new flowers and replaced broken pots.

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Memorial Garden Stranton Cemetery & Crematorium has been given a big clean and a blessing. From left Hartlepool Carers Paula Fewster, Baby Bereavement Group's Christina Morton-Lake, Reverend Verity Brown, Baby Bereavement's Jo Morton-Lake and Hartleppol Carers' Chrisitne Fewster.
Memorial Garden Stranton Cemetery & Crematorium has been given a big clean and a blessing. From left Hartlepool Carers Paula Fewster, Baby Bereavement Group's Christina Morton-Lake, Reverend Verity Brown, Baby Bereavement's Jo Morton-Lake and Hartleppol Carers' Chrisitne Fewster.

The hard work was marked with a blessing by Reverend Verity Brown of St Hilda’s Church which was attended by families and volunteers.

Christine Fewster, chief executive of Hartlepool Carers, said: “Val Lake of Hartlepool Baby Bereavement Group secured funding a number of years ago to establish the memorial garden.

“Her daughter Joanne Morton-Lake has continued in her mothers footsteps to ensure the charity continues in our town to help others.”

But the garden became neglected after the baby bereavement group lost all of its funding in April.

Blessing of the Baby Memorial Garden at Stranton Cemetery and Crematorium by Rev Verity Brown.

Hartlepool Carers stepped in and offered them space in their base in Lowthian Road so the essential service, which now also supports adults experiencing any age loss, could continue.

Christine added: “The garden was a mess and in need of some TLC so we said let’s get the community on board and get it all tidied up.

“A host of organisations donated their time and materials and helped out.”

They included Surface Smart Exterior Cleaning Services, MKM building supplies, Secret Garden, Artistic Solutions, Better Branding and Morrison’s.

Hartlepool Round Table also made a contribution to ensure families can have their babies names placed on plaques in the memorial area.

And many individuals donated pots and offered help to make the place look like new.

Christine said: “In the run up to Christmas we wanted to ensure the area is clean and families can go and spend time remembering their children.

“It was so lovely for the families to come along to the blessing and see the revamp.”