A new garden of reflection is being created in Greenland Cemetery, for parents who have suffered baby loss.
The garden is a result of the efforts of Little Snowdrops Baby Loss Support Group volunteers and Council’s PEACE IV ‘Your Place Our Space’ funded programme.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Cllr Peter Johnston said: ‘This garden will be an area where families and individuals can take some quiet time for themselves and somewhere to reflect.
‘Our officers and the Conservation Volunteers will be working with Little Snowdrops volunteers throughout the winter to develop the garden with sensory planting, seating areas, a water feature and native trees. I look forward to seeing the finished result.’
Ann Beggs, a garden volunteer, said: ‘Little Snowdrops Baby Loss Support Group Larne is an initiative developed by a local community midwife and two bereaved Larne families, distraught by the lack of support for those tragically affected by stillbirth and neonatal death in the Larne area.
‘The initiative aims to promote an informal support group alongside a reflection garden.
‘We are delighted that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has provided a plot of land for the reflection garden and that work has now begun on site.’
Both the group and the garden are open to all families who have been affected by stillbirth and neonatal death, regardless of gender, age or religion, and regardless of when their loss occurred.
Ann continued: ‘We hope that this will go some way in overcoming the isolation and stigma associated with baby loss while offering a safe and supportive environment.
‘It has been wonderful for group members to come together to work on this garden and we’re looking forward to horticultural workshops on-site over the next weeks and months.’
Greenland Cemetery has just recently achieved Green Flag award status, which is recognition of a well-managed green space.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was previously awarded £3.1m funding through the PEACE IV Programme to deliver a range of initiatives. Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
The Your Place Our Space project, delivered by the Parks and Open Spaces Service, is an intergenerational environmental project, focusing on the shared sustained use of outdoor spaces across the Borough.
This project is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s ‘Local Authority Action Plan’, which is funded by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).