We’re holding a reception for families who have lost a loved one to meningitis this summer to commemorate ten years since the opening of the Remembrance Garden at our Stroud headquarters.
To mark the occasion the statues that were such a central part of our award-winning garden at the Chelsea Flower Show to mark our 30th anniversary in 2016 have been placed in the garden.
Local landscapers Anderson Norman, metal fabricators Metal Reflex and carpenters Keith Amos have given their services free of charge to help us find a permanent home for four of the five statues that helped us and our designer John Everiss to a silver-gilt medal and the coveted People’s Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show three years ago. Since then one of the statues – Liam Doyle – has been located permanently at pharmaceutical company GSK’s plant in Siena, Italy, where the meningitis vaccine Bexsero is manufactured.
Peaceful and reflective place
Families who have lost a loved one to meningitis and who are remembered with inscribed wooden pegs in the garden are being invited to the reception on 20 July to mark the anniversary.
Tom Nutt, our chief executive, said: “Our Remembrance Garden has become a peaceful and reflective place to honour loved ones lost to meningitis. The wooden pegs that line the garden are a lasting and meaningful tribute to some of those we have lost to this disease."
Incredible supporters and their experiences
“Now we’re pleased to be adding the statues from our Chelsea garden that represent some of our incredible supporters and their experiences of meningitis.”
New information boards telling the story of the Remembrance Garden and the Meningitis Now Futures Garden at Chelsea will also be included in the reworked design, originally created in 2009 by local landscape designer Sue Jollans. Her vision for the garden saw visitors guided between two colourful and scented borders, with a path leading to a circular bench hewn from local oak and set around a scented cherry tree – a place for quiet thought and remembrance.
The garden’s borders, marshalled by a hazel fence covered by a fragrant honeysuckle and a rambling rose, are planted with grasses, perennials and bulbs – all selected to provide scent, colour and movement throughout the year and to be a haven for wildlife.
“The appearance of the statues in our memorial garden is a fitting tribute to each of the young people who shared their story in such a graphic and personal manner and to those whose memories are captured in each of the oak pegs”, Tom added.
“I’d like to thank everybody who has played their part in helping us reach this stage with the garden’s evolution, and those who generously give so much of their time to keeping it neat and tidy and an inspirational space for our visitors to reflect in.”