The Bedfordshire Sands Memorial Garden was opened on Sunday 13th October 2019 to coincide with Baby Loss Awareness Week (9th - 15th October 2019).
The idea of creating a Memorial Garden in Bedfordshire had been a long-held dream of many parents involved with Bedfordshire Sands and are very grateful to them for their legacy. Over the years, various members tried to find a suitable location for the garden with no success. In the meantime numerous fundraising events had taken place and some very kind donations have been received. A total just over £20,000 had been raised by January 2019.
Towards the end of 2018, Bedford Borough Council confirmed that we could have an area within the Bedford Crematorium to locate the garden. Please see the Location tab to see where the garden is located
The concept of the garden was based on the fact that every day in the UK, 15* babies die before, during or shortly after birth, leaving 15 families heartbroken and empty handed as they leave hospital in 2019 (#Challenge15).
Before passing through the tall butterfly motif gate into the garden transitions you from one space to another. The sinuous path is underpinned by 15 circles connected with curvaceous lines, making a visual reference to Sands #Challenge15 Two engraved steel moongates intersect the path, framing different spaces and creating a sense of change and transition through the garden. The path takes you on a journey through the gardens, linking the seating spaces and creating a reflective route to walk.
Along the path, trays have been installed where pebbles can be placed to remember the babies that have left us too soon. (see below for details)
*based on SANDS research in 2019.
- January 2019: Appointment of Rosewarne Gardens and Design
- February – March 2019: Obtain quotations from contractors
- April – August 2019: Contact local companies for help to complete the project
- 22nd August 2019: Skanska volunteers clearance of brambles and overgrown areas adjacent garden
- 13th and 14th September 2019: Tree Clearance
- 19th – 26th September 2019: Pathway installation
- September 2019: Memorial Pebble
- 30th September – 11th October 2019: Planting procurement and installation
- August 2020: Suitable Pebbles have been sourced
- October 2020: Trays for the Pebbles have been installed