The Children’s Memorial Gardens Blog / News

John created the charity after four of his friends went through the devastating experience of losing a child

A charity near Aylesbury is looking to create a safe space to help families who go through devastating loss.

The Children’s Memorial Garden is opening next month in Longwick, while organisers are also hoping to create a food bank production site too.

The concept behind the memorial garden, which is located on Lower Icknield Way, is to provide people with a safe space to discuss the tragedy of losing a child.

At the memorial families will be around other parents who have experienced the unthinkable tragedy as well.

The picturesque gardens are designed to be a tranquil, symbolic retreat for bereaved families to celebrate and remember their child.

Yesterday (20 March), the charity took big steps towards getting food production up-and-running with volunteers erecting a polytunnel.

Founder John Colinswood, charity volunteers, and friends from Icknield Way Masons Lodge, helped get the tunnel upright.

John told The Bucks Herald: “Those who have lost children often have special places where they had fun with the children.

Charity volunteers and friends helped to erect the tunnel yesterday

“It also can be the passing place, that could be a special place for them, but there are some who don’t have that sort of thing.

“The garden is a place where people who have had the same problem can communicate with each other.

“It’s a very lonely life for people who have lost children, and the main reason being is ‘what do you say?’

“How do you walk up to a person who has lost a child and say, ‘how are you?’

“This will actually be a place for people who have been through it and know how hard it actually is.

“People tell me who have suffered this, there is a real pain in their chests that exists.”

John’s motivation for starting the project came from seeing just how tough dealing with the loss of a child can be.

He added:

“I became aware of four friends who had suffered the loss of a child, and saw the devastating effects firsthand.

“I always wanted to give back and it appeared to me that there wasn’t a place specifically for families that have lost children, so I decided to make one.

“Loneliness, is one of the big problems, not only have you lost your child. But, you’ll have people who will walk across the street to get away from you, because they don’t know what to say to you.”

In the future John hopes to build a children’s chapel in the gardens to provide a further hub for families to meet.

The charity is also linked to The Compassionate Friends and the Lindengate Charity, two other local organisations that provide services for families dealing with death.

It was a real team effort

Both charities deal with grief and how to help people deal with loss, so the Children Memorial Garden Volunteers can offer people additional support, if the situation calls for it.

John went on to outline the other half of his project, the food bank production site.

It is hoped this will act as a constant source of food for people with no other means of getting regular healthy meals.

The Children’s Memorial Garden founder said:

“What we’re concerned about is that the crisis we’re facing, with fuel prices and everything else, it was seen that the poor are going to get poorer.

“What we’re looking to do, what could be one of the biggest things to go, could be fresh fruit and vegetables, because people simply can’t afford it.

“So, we’re hoping to do that with a church network. If we can start producing food, we can start producing baskets on a weekly basis.

“We don’t want to start something and just do something for one week, it has got to be continuous.”

More information on the Children Memorial is available on its website here, the charity has a justgiving page which can be accessed online.

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