Southampton parents set up fund for new baby remembrance area

Stuart and Cheryl Keal with Reuben and surviving twin Annabel.

Stuart and Cheryl Keal with Reuben and surviving twin Annabel.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Southampton parents have set up a fund to create a new area for grieving families to remember lost babies.

But parents Cheryl and Stuart Keal say Southampton's existing Baby Remembrance Garden is not enough and have set up a fund to create a special new area for families to remember their lost children with a central feature, benches and an archway leading into it.

Cheryl and Stuart decided to launch the fund after losing one of their twins, Daisy, while Cheryl was 20 weeks pregnant.

Her ashes were scattered by bereavement workers at the garden at Southampton Crematorium in Bassett Green Road last spring.

But when the Woolston couple went to pay their respects they were unable to find the garden as there are no signs it was anything more than a plain patch of grass.

Now, with the support of their friends, they have begun raising money to develop a new and improved plot for other bereaved families.

Cheryl, 35, a University of Southampton careers advisor said: “I couldn’t bring myself to go for ages and the first time we went we couldn’t find anything.

“It was really hard because we didn’t know where she was. You feel you have abandoned them somewhere.

“Then, when we did find it my husband and I didn’t think it was enough.

“We decided to start raising money to improve it at the beginning of the year and we launched the fund in June.

“We wanted to do it so we have somewhere special to go, otherwise there’s nothing.

“If you can try and make that a little bit easier for people then that’s why it needs to be done.

“It has to include the whole family, it’s not just for parents because you might have other children.”

Cheryl and Stuart, 43, who makes stained glass windows, hope the garden will be somewhere they can spend time remembering Daisy, along with her surviving twin Annabel, 17 months, and four-year-old brother Reuben.

They already have a number of events lined up to help meet their £10,000 fundraising target including bake sales, quiz nights and marathons.

There will also be an autumn fete at Woolston Community Centre from 11am until 2pm on September 20.

More information about the fund is available at facebook.com/ babymemorial1.

Comments (6)

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4:39pm Mon 11 Aug 14

jonnyx says...

"Cheryl, 35, a University of Southampton careers advisor said: “I couldn’t bring myself to go for ages and the first time we went we couldn’t find anything.

“It was really hard because we didn’t know where she was. You feel you have abandoned them somewhere."

That sounds unimaginably difficult. Good luck to them in their fund raising.
"Cheryl, 35, a University of Southampton careers advisor said: “I couldn’t bring myself to go for ages and the first time we went we couldn’t find anything. “It was really hard because we didn’t know where she was. You feel you have abandoned them somewhere." That sounds unimaginably difficult. Good luck to them in their fund raising. jonnyx
  • Score: 8

7:38pm Mon 11 Aug 14

sass says...

May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom.
May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom. sass
  • Score: -16

8:42pm Mon 11 Aug 14

cheryl keal says...

sass wrote:
May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom.
I just want to put your mind at rest that this is not going to be a 'shrine' but a peaceful place for reflection. If you have been to the creamatourium it will be similar to the deer glade but obviously age appropriate. No personal items will be displayed except flowers and bereaved families will be able to dedicate plaques. We will put plans on the facebook site for everyone to comment on.
[quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom.[/p][/quote]I just want to put your mind at rest that this is not going to be a 'shrine' but a peaceful place for reflection. If you have been to the creamatourium it will be similar to the deer glade but obviously age appropriate. No personal items will be displayed except flowers and bereaved families will be able to dedicate plaques. We will put plans on the facebook site for everyone to comment on. cheryl keal
  • Score: 11

11:08pm Mon 11 Aug 14

jonnyx says...

and may i suggest Sass (with whatever respect you might imagine is due), that you keep your tawdry little misanthropic, ill-thought out trolling to yourself. you might want to bear the following little maxim in mind for future reference - Sometimes it is better NOT to publicly express every single thought we have.
and may i suggest Sass (with whatever respect you might imagine is due), that you keep your tawdry little misanthropic, ill-thought out trolling to yourself. you might want to bear the following little maxim in mind for future reference - Sometimes it is better NOT to publicly express every single thought we have. jonnyx
  • Score: 4

1:39am Tue 12 Aug 14

sass says...

jonnyx wrote:
and may i suggest Sass (with whatever respect you might imagine is due), that you keep your tawdry little misanthropic, ill-thought out trolling to yourself. you might want to bear the following little maxim in mind for future reference - Sometimes it is better NOT to publicly express every single thought we have.
I do not dislike humankind, just the gaudy detritus some strew in their wake.
[quote][p][bold]jonnyx[/bold] wrote: and may i suggest Sass (with whatever respect you might imagine is due), that you keep your tawdry little misanthropic, ill-thought out trolling to yourself. you might want to bear the following little maxim in mind for future reference - Sometimes it is better NOT to publicly express every single thought we have.[/p][/quote]I do not dislike humankind, just the gaudy detritus some strew in their wake. sass
  • Score: 0

10:28am Tue 12 Aug 14

cantthinkofone says...

cheryl keal wrote:
sass wrote:
May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom.
I just want to put your mind at rest that this is not going to be a 'shrine' but a peaceful place for reflection. If you have been to the creamatourium it will be similar to the deer glade but obviously age appropriate. No personal items will be displayed except flowers and bereaved families will be able to dedicate plaques. We will put plans on the facebook site for everyone to comment on.
What a beautifully restrained response Cheryl. Well done.

I can't stand 'mawkish' sentimentality, which is what I think "sass" decided to read from this piece . There's a lot of it about these days. But I don't see what you're proposing as mawkish at all. It's a lovely proposal, and I hope it comes to fruition. I hope sass never has to deal with what you've gone through.

Best of luck with your project. God bless.
[quote][p][bold]cheryl keal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: May I suggest grieving parents create their own inviolable shrine with all the balloons, windmills, teddy bears and sundry tacky plastic toys, in the departed child's bedroom.[/p][/quote]I just want to put your mind at rest that this is not going to be a 'shrine' but a peaceful place for reflection. If you have been to the creamatourium it will be similar to the deer glade but obviously age appropriate. No personal items will be displayed except flowers and bereaved families will be able to dedicate plaques. We will put plans on the facebook site for everyone to comment on.[/p][/quote]What a beautifully restrained response Cheryl. Well done. I can't stand 'mawkish' sentimentality, which is what I think "sass" decided to read from this piece . There's a lot of it about these days. But I don't see what you're proposing as mawkish at all. It's a lovely proposal, and I hope it comes to fruition. I hope sass never has to deal with what you've gone through. Best of luck with your project. God bless. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 3

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