Applications open for people who want to have a plaque in the memorial garden for those affected by past practices around the cremation of babies

Applications are now open for people who would like a plaque in the memorial garden at Hazlehead Park for those who were affected by past practice around the cremation of babies.

Work has started on the garden which is situated in a quiet and peaceful area, away from the main park, while at the same time is easily accessible.

The design of the garden and a sculpture as part of it were agreed last year (2018) by the Working Group and they are designed to evoke feelings of reflectiveness, peace, remembrance, forward-looking, uplifting, sorrow, hope, love, stillness, responsibility and reconciliation. It is designed to be open and welcoming, while at the same time is a place which allows for private emotions.

The garden has been designed by the Working Group with TGP Landscape Architects and the features include an arched entrance, several seated areas in the circumference of a grassed circular area with the sculpture as the main feature in the middle of the circle, and a more private area where families affected can sit, and also have names of those affected permanently inscribed on rectangular-shaped metal plates, if they wish.

Application forms are being sent to people who have already come forward to Aberdeen City Council as part of the process, and they are also available from www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/memorialgarden. Completed forms should be returned to the council’s bereavement services department by 28 February if the person wishes the plaque to be in place for when the memorial garden is completed. Applications will be accepted after this date and there is no time limit for applying. Any queries or if an application form requires to be posted out should contact Bereavement Services on 01224 522485.

The work creating the garden is being carried out by MTM Construction, a Kinellar-based firm which has been carrying out civil engineering, construction, and building work in the north-east for more than 40 years. The work started last month (January) and it is expected it should be complete in Spring 2019, weather and ground conditions depending.

The Working Group will give an official name to the garden at a later date.

The Working Group meetings are being chaired by John Birrell from Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland, who has vast experience in bereavement care and was a member of the Infant Cremation Commission.

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland has offered its support to families on 0845 600 2227, and anyone affected can also contact SANDS Aberdeen on 0870 7606649 or help@aberdeen-sands.org. The meetings are being supported by Aberdeen City Council.