23 January 2018

LeighAnne Wright created a beautiful garden, thanks to precious memories – and it’s a place where she always feels close to her little boy, Beau.

It’s hard to believe that this special place was once a patch of overgrown wasteground not so very long ago.

Mum LeighAnne has helped hundreds of families keep their own memories alive, too. She led the team of willing volunteers – dubbed the Angel Army – that created Little Haven memory garden at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon.

All babies are equal in their memory

Little Haven has a real-life memory lane running right through its midst. It’s a special place for remembering children and babies who were born and lost too soon, to be cherished and remembered.

A sign which reads "Always Remembered"Little Haven is a special place to keep memories alive

“The memory lane is a beautiful walkway that leads to the top of the garden” says LeighAnne, who lost her angel baby Beau before he was born.

“The garden is a beautiful, calm and tranquil space and so much more than that. I wanted to make sure that every baby had the same memorialisation.

“It was to prove that gestation, circumstance and ‘time ago’ doesn’t matter, because all babies are equal in their memory.”

##Precious gifts

The Angel Army gifts every family with a special pebble with their angel baby’s name. Or they can choose a spot to place a pebble of their own, on memory lane.

“Beau has a pebble in the garden and like so many others, having his pebble at Little Haven allows me a space to go and remember him,” says LeighAnne.

“I feel the comfort when I am there.”

LeighAnne WrightLeighAnne

“With Little Haven being such a natural spot, I think it also reinforces the ‘circle of life’ idea — and to me, that is beautiful and comforting.”

LeighAnne was recently honoured with a British Citizens Award for her services to volunteering, charity work and the comfort she’s brought families.

Families sometimes use Little Haven as a space to mark their little one’s angelversary, while a teddy bears’ picnic and treasure hunt in the summer has become a special calendar event for angel baby families.

A teddy bear statueLittle Haven is a space where the whole familiy can spend time and share their memories

“It’s a chance for families with other children to meet up and enjoy each other’s company and have a treasure hunt” smiles LeighAnne.

“Little Haven is there to allow parents to remember,” she adds.

And that’s exactly what she and her Angel Army have given them the tranquil space to do.

##Keeping memories alive – LeighAnne suggests

  • Listen to your heart

“Do the things that bring YOU comfort.”

  • ** It’s your way that matters**

“There’s no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way: Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should and should not be doing.”

  • ** Mark special days**

“If you want to celebrate their life on a special date, do it, whether it’s planting a memory tree or baking a birthday cake for them.”