A ribbon tree commemorating children that died in infancy has been officially replanted after vandals destroyed the original one in March.
Representatives from SANDS, the neo-natal death charity, St Mary’s vicar Philip Cochrane, bereaved mothers, Victoria Prentis - who is standing for re-election in the June general election and who herself has suffered the loss of a child - and Edd Frost and Daughters funeral directors, who donated the ribbon tree, were all in attendance at the ceremony in People’s Park, Banbury, last Friday.
The vandalism of the first ribbon tree was particularly cruel, as it happened just before Mother’s Day.
Edd Frost said: “We were just devastated when we heard. We do a lot with babies so we were mortified. And for it to happen on the Saturday before Mothering Sunday, we wanted something done as soon as possible to replace it.”
The idea for the tree, which allows bereaved parents to tie ribbons to it in memory of lost children, was inspired by Val Ingram and the Save the Horton group and its placement in a public park is possibly the only one in the UK.
Karen Hancox from SANDS said: “This will help many parents and siblings on their journey of grief as a significant focal point to bring closeness and comfort.”
The original ribbons were n saved following the vandalism, to be re-tied to the new Snakebark Maple tree.
Melanie Kimberley was one of the mothers who had a ribbon on the tree. She said: “It was awful, I felt sick I about how somebody could do that. It’s bad enough doing that to any tree but to a memorial tree for babies it was beyond