Leaves stolen from baby memorial tree by heartless vandals to be replaced after donation

PUBLISHED: 15:09 06 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:11 06 October 2020

Parents were left heartbroken following the vandalism of a baby bereavement tree in Holywells Park, Ipswich  Picture: GREGG BROWN

Parents were left heartbroken following the vandalism of a baby bereavement tree in Holywells Park, Ipswich Picture: GREGG BROWN

Metal leaves stolen from a memorial tree in Ipswich are set to be replaced after a nearby business made a charitable donation.

The Tree of Remembrance in Holywells Park, purchased in 2016, aims to provide a quiet place of reflection for bereaved parents.

Brass leaves engraved with the name and date of birth of a baby lost during the pregnancy or neonatal periods feature on the tree, alongside a short message in their memory.

However, during the summer, “heartless” thieves stole some of the remembrance leaves, devastating a number of bereaved parents.

Now, a charity linked to estate agents Palmers & Partners has donated funds to the Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group to help pay for the leaves to be replaced.

Megan Lewis, committee member for the charity, said: “We’re always on the look out for local causes to donate money to.

“We do a monthly donation of £500 and this cause really stood out to all of us.

“It is such a sad story. I don’t know who in their right mind would do something like that?

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“Everyone I’ve spoken to knows about the tree, so it is an important thing in our community.

“It’s something where our little contribution will go a long way.”

Police are still looking for witnesses to the crime, which also saw CCTV overlooking the tree stolen.

Officers believe the thefts took place sometime between July and September 5 in the Magic Garden area of Holywells Park.

Police suspect the CCTV was stolen during the same time period.

A representative for the charity, Laura Holden, said: “It was very kind and generous of them.

“Of course we are very appreciative of this as we are very much on the case of getting these leaves replaced as soon as we can.

“We want to give them a huge thank you as it means we can get on it straight away.

“The overall response to the incident has been overwhelming - it was a horrible and heartless thing that happened and to get this level of support is both amazing and humbling.”

Witnesses or anybody with information are asked to contact police quoting reference 51888/20 by calling 101.

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