Lauren and Chris Brydson managed to raise over £27,000 to fund a memorial Tree of Tranquillity to support other bereaved families across Dumfries and Galloway and now it will be installed at Crichton gardens.
The tree is designed to raise awareness of miscarriage, stillbirths and neonatal deaths and to offer families a quiet and peaceful place to reflect.
The Dumfries couple received a memory box from baby loss charity SiMBA in 2017 after they lost their daughter Tayler. Lauren and Chris then sadly went onto lose another four babies, including their son Robbie who was born prematurely in March last year and lived for just six hours.
They were determined to have a place in Dumfries for families to go and remember their lost babies. Lauren contacted SiMBA last March and within days had established the D&G Fundraising Committee. She said: “The committee just almost happened overnight. From suggesting the idea of fundraising for a tree, family and friends just got on board, sharing the same enthusiasm as I did.
“I think the idea of the Tree of Tranquillity is beautiful, and so important for families. The tree will give families a place to go to remember their baby, especially for those who had earlier losses and didn’t have the opportunity for a funeral. It will also be a stunning and powerful way to show the love we all have for our precious babies, and it will bring people together.”
The committee, pictured above, went on to raise a staggering £27,289, smashing their initial £18,000 target. They organised a series of fundraising events, culminating in their Little Footprints ball hosted by TV presenter Amy Irons that raised an amazing £7605.17.
SiMBA chief executive officer Sara Fitzsimmons MBE RM said: “Lauren and her team have been inspirational fundraisers for SiMBA, they are an amazing example of what can be done when a community gets behind a project. The Trees of Tranquillity are not just for the newly bereaved but also those who sadly lost their baby many years ago. I would like to thank The Crichton Trust, who have been incredibly supportive of this project.”
Lynsi Mills, who also fundraised for this project following the loss of her son Harison, said: “The tree will mean so much to me, as someone who struggles to go to the graveyard as I don’t find it comforting it will be lovely to have somewhere to go to remember Harison. It will be nice to be able to go there with my little boy Kaii also.”