Families devastated after vandals attack baby memorial tree
A midwife has condemned vandals who damaged a memorial tree for bereaved families in Ipswich.
Precious leaves are attached to the Tree of Remembrance in Holywells Park to remember babies who have died during pregnancy, childbirth, or after birth.
One of these was recently ripped off the tree, and several personal mementos were also found on the ground nearby.
News of this latest incident, which has prompted park rangers to step up their patrols, comes after a number of similar attacks over the last two years.
“The Tree of Remembrance is a really important place to visit for so many families who have lost a baby and acts of vandalism, no matter how big or small, have a big impact,” said Ali Brett, bereavement midwife at Ipswich Hospital.
“The damage to the property may be easily repaired but the damage it does to our families’ emotions is much harder to heal.
“We condemn any act of vandalism and ask all our communities to please help look after these special places.”
Now the Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group, which looks after the tree, is looking at ways of improving security around it.
They are working with Ipswich Borough Council to find a solution, without compromising the natural environment.
A council spokesman said: “We are sickened by this appalling and emotionless act of vandalism piece of vandalism. “We urge members of the public to help us find those who are responsible, and also to prevent similar attacks.
“We are increasing park patrols in the area as a result.
He added: “We share the sorrow of those associated with the tree.”
They also said those who are out on park patrol are using body cameras for extra security.
Members of the baby bereavement group have recently put new trail posts up in the park, which feature a subtle design to help guide families to the tree.
This most recent incident, thought to have happened at the beginning of March, has been reported to the police.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Suffolk Constabulary on 101 with information.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in their online form.