Woodland trees planted to remember beloved babies and children

The Forget-Me-Not Bereaved Parents Liaison Group along with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust held a poignant woodland memorial tree planting event to offer solace and support to families experiencing grief associated with the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby or child.
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The Forget Me Not woodland nestles in the serene landscape of the Billy Neill Country Park, a picturesque location close to the Ulster Hospital.

Families can visit this peaceful area, where a dedicated, elevated plot overlooks the tranquil lake, providing a setting for reflection and remembrance.

At the heartfelt event, Treasurer of the Forget Me Not Bereaved Parents Liaison Group, Kelly Barnes, tenderly placed 'little hearts of love' beneath the branches of the Forget Me Not tree.

Jessica Clarke, Jacqueline Dorrian (Bereavement Support Midwife) and Jamie Clarke. Pic credit: SEHSCTJessica Clarke, Jacqueline Dorrian (Bereavement Support Midwife) and Jamie Clarke. Pic credit: SEHSCT
Jessica Clarke, Jacqueline Dorrian (Bereavement Support Midwife) and Jamie Clarke. Pic credit: SEHSCT

Bereaved parent and Treasurer of the Forget Me Not Bereaved Parents Liaison Group, Kelly Barnes reflected: “For a bereaved parent, there is nothing better than speaking to someone in the same situation. I found that nobody understands what you are going through, unless they have been through it themselves.

“When I attended the Forget Me Not group last year, I remember speaking to a group member who I hadn’t spoken to before. She totally understood what I was going through, it was the best conversation I had in years.”

Bereaved parents, Jessica and Jamie Clarke who lost their precious baby Thea at 26 weeks, said: “Attending the tree planting for us is like closing a chapter. We are going to remember Thea by planting a tree in her memory.

“It is such a special place here at the woodland area to remember and reflect. Thea was a positive child. As the tree grows, it will symbolise Thea’s growth.”

Jamie and Jessica Clarke at the tree planting. Pic credit: SEHSCTJamie and Jessica Clarke at the tree planting. Pic credit: SEHSCT
Jamie and Jessica Clarke at the tree planting. Pic credit: SEHSCT
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South Eastern Trust Chairman, Jonathan Patton added: “The tree can continue to grow and serve as a memory where parents can come and have a quiet moment at the tree that they have planted, for a life that is lost.”

If you would like more information on the Forget Me Not Woodland Project, or would like to join the Forget Me Not group, contact the Bereavement Support Midwives, Jacqueline Dorrian or Susan Stitt by either telephone; (028) 9056 4717 or by email: [email protected].