Thank you for visiting our site. Here you will find information about our unique Ashford Baby Memorial Garden, our history, links to other support available, and information about our awareness and fundraising activities.
The Ashford Baby Memorial Garden was created in 2013 after local volunteers raised £30,000. There are various baby gardens within many crematoria but the Ashford Garden is unique in being quite separate and right in the town centre, fully accessible and open all day, every day. It is a vibrant area designed for anyone to visit, with lovely bright plants, specially hand carved benches, and a beautiful ‘teardrop’ mosaic.
The Garden is managed by our volunteers (we have no staff) who regularly visit to check on litter and weeds etc, while the main maintenance and replanting itself is done by Ashford Council’s Aspire team on a repayment basis.
Within the Garden we have boards with tiles remembering 300 of our special babies, with their name and a significant date. These tiles are available for a one-off cost of £40 although we can waive the cost, or take instalments if that would help. Please click here for further details.
The Garden also helps raise awareness that on average, 14 babies are stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, or die within their first few weeks, that is one every 100 minutes, or over 5,000 a year. A further 250,000 babies are lost to miscarriage each year, and overall an estimated one in four pregnancies ends in a loss (source: Tommy’s charity). Our garden is there to remember every one of those special babies.
For seven years volunteers ran the Garden under the umbrella of East Kent Sands charity. But we wanted more autonomy to run the Garden for all babies (irrespective of their age) and wanted to be able raise money specifically for the Garden and decided to create the new charity. We still work alongside Sands and other charities and do our best to signpost people to those organisations for support.
As well as the Ashford Garden, we also want to look at baby memorial areas elsewhere in East Kent and already have talked to crematoria at Charing, Margate and Hawkinge, as well as speaking with the NHS Trust about the baby area at Canterbury Hospital. Over time, and as money allows, we want to help make sure that all baby gardens in East Kent are maintained as nicely as possible, working with other organisations and volunteers. We are a very small charity and have to fundraise for most of our money, and this will limit what we can do. But if you know of a baby garden or baby area within East Kent, please let us know. Thanks.
WHAT WE DO
Our wonderful Ashford Baby Memorial Garden was created in 2011 to give families a place to remember their special babies in a positive way. It is bright and welcoming, and we encourage anyone to visit.
To find out more about the Garden, and for information on Name Tiles, please click here.
A really important part of our work is raising awareness of baby loss and giving people a safe space to talk about their losses.
Click here for details of our awareness and fundraising activities.
If you would like to know more about volunteering with us you can find out more on the Our Volunteers page.
We offer support to local families through a range of events through the year, including Baby Loss Awareness Week and our Annual Teddy Bears Picnic. Find out more about these events and more.
There are also many other charities offering support to anyone affected by the death of a baby. Click here for a list of organisations that can help.