The tree of Tranquility and sunbeam garden open day
A special place at Airedale Hospital where bereaved parents can remember their children will host an open day this week.
The event is at the Sunbeam Garden and its Tree of Tranquility sculpture from noon on Sunday October 14. The sculpture was placed in the hospital’s grounds in May and is the first tree to be placed in England.
It was funded by non-profit organisation Aidan’s Elephants, and is the outcome of a five-year collaboration between Aidan’s Elephants, Airedale’s Sunbeam (Bereavement) Team and Scottish Charity, SiMBA.
Aidan’s Elephants was founded in 2012 by Helen and Gurjit Chhokar in memory of their son Aidan, who died from a metabolic disorder when he was two days old.
The organisation works to ensure families, who have lost a child of any gestation or age, receive outstanding care and support.
The tree sculpture cost £11,640, a sum raised by every family who has supported Aidan’s Elephants over the last six years.
SiMBA, which has provided and funded Trees of Tranquility in Scotland, commissioned the sculpture for Airedale. It is crafted from copper and bears copper leaves which can be engraved with personal messages, names or dates.
Each leaf represents a loved and missed baby or child. Parents can order leaves to be engraved and sent to SiMBA, which will periodically bond these to the tree.
Mrs Chhokar said: “The tree is part of the legacies of so many treasured children, and will offer comfort to newly bereaved families and those who sadly lost their children many years ago.
“Having a special place to visit is so important to many people, some of whom have nowhere meaningful to go to remember their children.
“As parents who live without one of our own children, it means so much to us that we’ve been able to play a part in giving families the opportunity to have their children’s names placed on this sculpture.”
Sara Fitzsimmons, executive director of SiMBA said: “We’re honoured to have worked with Helen from Aidan’s Elephants, and Beverley Beaumont, bereavement midwife at Airedale, to bring this vision to a peaceful location.
Bev Beaumont, bereavement midwife at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “I’m delighted that after years of dreams and hard work, we’re able to provide a beautiful, tranquil Sunbeam Baby Garden for parents and families.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Tree of Tranquility and the Sunbeam Garden from the bottom of my heart. I know how much this garden means to the families involved in its development.”
Sarah Simpson, head of midwifery at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a maternity unit we recognise the wonderful support that’s been provided by Aidan’s Elephants – in particular the drive and enthusiasm by Helen Chhokar in support of bereaved parents.
“The Sunbeam group’s parents have been passionate in their ideas of how this garden may develop in order to best suit parents’ needs.”
The garden is next to the Zone D entrance, opposite Airedale’s P3 car park. All are welcome to attend the October 14 launch, which will include refreshments. To confirm attendance, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org