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Incredible act of kindness as vandalised baby memorial is given make-over

PUBLISHED: 10:56 08 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 08 November 2020

Young people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year.Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

Young people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year.Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

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A baby memorial in Ipswich’s Holywells Park which was attacked by heartless vandals has been given a make-over - in a remarkable act of kindness by young people.

Young people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year. Pictured is Emily, who proposed the idea to the group. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLKYoung people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year. Pictured is Emily, who proposed the idea to the group. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

The Tree of Remembrance has provided a quiet place of reflection for bereaved parents since 2016, with each leaf on the tree engraved with the name a date of birth of a baby lost too soon.

However, in September, three families were left devastated when vandals stole their leaves and attacked the site.

MORE: Families devastated after heartless vandals target baby memorial tree

Shocked by the incident, student Emily suggested to fellow participants of Inspire Suffolk’s Prince’s Trust Team Programme that they revamp the area as part of their community project.

Young people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLKYoung people from Inspire Suffolk's Prince's Trust Team Programme helped restore Holywells Park's Tree of Remembrance, which was vandalised earlier this year. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

The group members, aged between 16 and 25, have now created an eye-catching floral display with tulips, daffodils and more to give those families affected some comfort.

“Our team really wanted to support a group in the community and chose Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement,” said Emily, who said the cause was very close to her heart as someone who knows people affected by baby bereavement.

“As it had recently been vandalised, we wanted to plant bulbs for families to enjoy.

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“The tree means a lot to me and many others and we wanted to make it look inviting for the spring.”

MORE: Vandals who attacked baby memorial tree also stole CCTV, police reveal

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is designed to help participants who have faced major life challenges such as mental ill health, low confidence and a lack of qualifications to build their confidence, so they can go on to lead successful and fulfilling careers and lives.

Team leader Naomi Thompson said: “A key element of the Inspire Suffolk Prince’s Trust Team Programme is supporting the community.

“Young people can receive such negative press, but it’s always a small minority. Many of the groups we work with want to give back to their community and support local groups to the best of their ability.

“This team of young people have come up with some fantastic ways of supporting people in Suffolk over the past 12 weeks, from planting the bulbs at the bereavement tree to designing information leaflets for those who are struggling with their mental health.

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“It’s been a pleasure to work with them.”

A spokesman for Inspire Suffolk added: “We thought this project really shows young people in a positive light and emphasises the positive ways young people can impact the community.”


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