Memorial garden opened at Whitton Primary for Kaylen O’Connor

Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm opening Whitton school Sunshine Corner memorial garden in memory of form

Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm opening Whitton school Sunshine Corner memorial garden in memory of former pupil Kaylen O'Connor pictured with family members Candy, Cody, Thaine, Cody, and Derek, Staff, pupils, friends of Whitton and local trust members

A neglected school woodland has been turned into an inspirational learning space in memory of an eight-year-old former pupil.

Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm opening Whitton school Sunshine Corner memorial garden in memory of form

Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm opening Whitton school Sunshine Corner memorial garden in memory of former pupil Kaylen O'Connor pictured with family members Candy, Cody, Thaine, Cody, and Derek, Staff, pupils, friends of Whitton and local trust members

More than £10,000 was raised by the Friends group at Whitton Community Primary School to create the Sunshine Corner, which has been dedicated to Kaylen O’Connor who died in March following a three-year battle with a brain tumour.

Lolly Hill, teaching assistant and chairwoman of the Friends of Whitton School, said: “Obviously it was devastating for the pupils, but school is school and they bounce back but he is remembered and talked about a lot and this garden will keep him in people’s memories.”

The Friends group was formed two years ago and its first venture was to restore the wood, which Mrs Hill said had become dilapidated.

Successfully bidding for funding from the Big Local Trust (BLT) and the North West Area Committee, the group also put on a number of fundraisers to reach its target.

Originally named the Wilderness Woodland, Mrs Hill said when the area was finished, it was no longer very wild, so they wanted to find a new title.

“Unfortunately a couple of months ago we lost one of our pupils and we thought it could be a memorial garden in his memory, “ she added.

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“We chose Sunshine garden because Kaylen’s favourite song was You are my Sunshine.”

The wood was officially opened on Friday by the Mayor of Ipswich, Glen Chisholm, with members of the BLT, borough councillors and Kaylen’s family in attendance.

Located in a hidden area behind the school canteen, Mrs Hill said the area was “very quiet and tranquil”.