The first discussions and plans for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust's Baby Remembrance Garden began many years ago, and this incredible project is now in it's final stages of completion.
Along with Airedale's Bereavement Midwife (Bev Beaumont) and Bereavement Team, we fell in love with the idea of providing a permanent sculpture in the Baby Remembrance Garden, which could bear the names or special dates of babies and children who were held in their parents hearts. We found that SiMBA (a Scottish charity which supports bereaved parents) already provided/funded unique baby memorial trees in Scotland, and we aspired to fund SiMBA to place one of their trees in Airedale's Baby Remembrance Garden.
We are honoured to formally announce that Aidan's Elephants, working in partnership with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust (ANHSFT)'s Bereavement Team and SiMBA, have been able to secure and fully fund the placement of a Tree of Tranquility within the Sunbeam Baby Remembrance Garden (situated at ANHSFT). The tree is a beautifully hand crafted, life size sculpture made from recycled metals. It will bear individual leaves which can be engraved with personal messages, each one representing a forever loved and missed baby or child.
Parents will be able to order copper leaves (at no cost) to have engraved with their baby's name/date or a special message. The engraving can be done at anywhere that parents wish, but we will provide a list of local, approved engravers who have agreed a set fee for engraving and will be aware of the emotional significance of the leaves. Parents can hold on to their leaves for as long as they wish. When they feel ready, the leaves can be posted back to SiMBA, who will bond each one to the tree. Initially all returned leaves will be bonded when the Tree is first placed. From then on, leaves will be bonded to the tree periodically (we estimate once or twice a year). The leaves are individually photographed when they are bonded to the tree by SiMBA, and each parent will receive a beautiful photograph of their child's leaf once it has been bonded onto the tree.
Five Trees of Tranquility (in Borders, Edinburgh & Lothians, Glasgow, Inverness and Orkney) exist in Scotland, each one funded and placed by SiMBA. Airedale's Tree of Tranquility will be the first to be placed in the UK. The funding that Aidan's Elephants has released for this tree (a total of £11,640) has been contributed to by every family who has supported the Non-Profit Organisation. The Tree is part of the legacy of every baby and child who has inspired people to donate, fundraise or provide any kind of support for Aidan's Elephants. Because of those treasured children and their families, we have the privilege of being able to fund a unique and invaluable addition to the Sunbeam Baby Remembrance Garden. Families who donate to Aidan's Elephants in the future will also be contributing to this everlasting memorial, as their donations will help us to maintain the future of the Tree and allow for new leaves to be added over the years to come.
To the families who have helped make the purchase of this tree possible, through donations large and small, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for all your support in making this aspiration become a reality. We would also like to say a special thank you to Bev Beaumont (Airedale's Bereavement Midwife) for all her hard work and dedication in helping to bring the Tree of Tranquility to Airedale. The Tree being placed in Airedale's Baby Remembrance Garden is something that Bev has dreamed of for a long time, and she has been instrumental in it's placement. The Tree of Tranquility is a breathtaking piece of artwork, which we feel will bring so much comfort to both newly bereaved families and those who sadly lost their children many, many years ago. It is an honour to have been trusted with the memorial funds of so many little loved ones over the years, and a privilege for us to be able to use those funds to create something so special for a whole community of parents and their families.
Work on producing the Tree of Tranquility will begin in the next few weeks, and the Tree is estimated to be placed within the Hospital's Sunbeam Baby Remembrance Garden in Spring 2018. Within the next few weeks, we look forward to being able to provide order forms for parents to order their leaves in advance, so that the leaves can be attached to the Tree as soon as it is in place.
If anyone would like any further information about the Tree of Tranquility, please get in touch with us.
* Images of the five existing Trees of Tranquility and leaves shared with permission from SiMBA.